Camping @ Ft DeSoto Park

This here RSVP is for camping. Look for the kayaking on these dates. I set up the kayaking we'll be doing as separate events so you can RSVP to those even if you aren't camping! ..cool, right?  ;)

>> UPDATE:  SITES ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THIS DATE! <<  There are quite a few nice sites still available! Maybe not waterfront but..Come camp..I'll share my waterfront view ;)


Instructions (thanks Michele!):

You go online to the Ft Desoto site: 

https://public.co.pinellas.fl.us/parks/ParksMain.jsp

Choose the date you want which will bring up the campsite map.  Each site will be described.  I only stay at sites on the water as I want to kayak whenever I want. But even if you can't get a water site, you have access to water so you can launch your yak You set up your acct & pay w/ a credit card. Some sites are available as a walk-up but I never do that. These sites fill up months in advance.  There's also free/primitive group camping at Shell Is which requires getting the reservation in advance. I like the regular sites because I want access to water/bathroom & electrical. If you've never camped/kayaked there, it is a delight to watch birds, dolphins & sunsets/sunrises from your hammock.

Michele is staying at site 6, on the water, so it's easy to get the yaks in the water & paddle to Shell Island. Karl has site 44

The place fills up very fast & right now there are spots on the water available. 

Rates are $35.84 per night & 6 campers are allowed per site.



A YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7un9E_Kafo



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  • Louanne R.

    Great to see everyone, Fun Group, Good lunch, Nice Campground, It was a Great Day on the Water, Open Water has it's challenges, which helps us learn and become better and stronger, looking forward to seeing everyone at our next Paddle.....

    1 · August 12

  • lois v.

    wonderful campground. I met old friends and made new ones, great lunch, and the trip out to Shell Island was not as hard as I was afraid it would be.

    2 · August 11

  • Lori

    It was great seeing everyone! I'd love to see people's pictures of the event if possible.

    August 11

  • michele c

    I now know first hand a scientific fact that I'd never experienced before: currents are mighty strong. The Sun sunrise paddle back to Shell Is was on quiet water w/o the background of power boats. Thanks Louanne for helping to clean up the beach for the birds & fish. Thanks Karl for setting up this visit to a gorgeous area.

    2 · August 10

  • diane

    good paddle to shell island... loved the dolphin..nice meeting everybody

    3 · August 10

  • Wingkeel

    Hi everyone, I told a story about some cockroaches I saw on an island on the way to Fort DeSoto. It was on the island of Primitive Campsite Island #21 (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/paddling/Segments/Segment%208/PDF/Seg8Map2.pdf, Segment-8, Map 2b). After studying and restudying pictures of cockroaches these can only be one of two varieties; the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach or the Oriental Cockroach and I'm leaning heavily toward the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. I'm going back there in the early fall to capture a few of them to ensure that is indeed what they are. If these are the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, someone had taken a pair of them to the island rather than kill them. The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is sold by the thousands as "pets" because of their congenial nature, size and lifespan of 2-5 years.

    1 · August 10

  • Louanne R.

    Great Paddle Saturday, lots of strong currents to help build strong muscles, picked up lots of trash on Shell Island with Michele, feel good to have helped clean up the environment, Beautiful Camp site, Can Not make paddle on Sunday Morning, however, hoping to see everyone at next adventure...Thanks for a Beautiful Adventure on the Water at Ft Desoto, Hope your Day SPARKLES

    1 · August 10

  • Chai S.

    Karl - Apologies for the last-minute cancellation. Gemma isn't feeling well. We were hoping that it was just a 24hr bug. Hope y'all have fun - see you at a future event.

    August 9

    • Karl

      Hi Chai - you were missed! I hope Gemma is better!

      1 · August 9

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cant make it to this event

    August 9

  • Wingkeel

    Karl, I can't find you. Where r u from the water tower?

    August 9

    • Karl

      Call me at[masked]

      August 9

  • Lori

    We've got stuff to make s'mores if anyone is willing to share their fire tonight?

    August 9

  • Teri H.

    Chai, I might take you up on that . I've been trying to reach Lois about her campsite ,but I haven't been able to yet. If hers is no longer available, that would be great.

    August 3

    • Teri H.

      Sounds Good,you'll love this park ,soo much to see & do. See ya Sat. # 52. Looking forward to meeting you both.

      2 · August 5

    • Chai S.

      Teri - my wife isn't feeling well. We were hoping it was just a 24hr bug. As it stands, please feel free to enjoy campsite #52. Hope to meet you at another event :)

      August 9

  • michele c

    You should be OK as the water is calm.

    August 9

  • A former member
    A former member

    How is the ride to shell island? Is it choppy? I ask because of the type of kayak that i have it doesn't do well in choppy water

    August 8

  • diane

    I have one yak for rent 30.00 covers pfd whisle and paddle at site 44.

    August 8

    • Teri H.

      Hello, Diane I thought I might need an extra kayak& e-mailed you the other day, but just found out I won't be needing it so I hope you can get it rented out. Thanks,Teri

      August 8

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hello Diane, Bryan and / or I am interested in renting it. We might take turns if there are no other options.

      August 8

  • A former member
    A former member

    Karl - You deleted the entire meetup post for tomorrow's kayaking meetup. Hope no one gets confused (or maybe I'm missing something). Question - Are we meeting at your camp site 44 @ 12 or launching @ 12?

    August 8

    • Karl

      We are still kayaking tomorrow. Launching from Lot 44 at 12:30. Welcome to drop by for lunch at 11:30 but MUST BE LOW KEY

      August 8

    • A former member
      A former member

      Karl - Two of us will be renting kayaks. do you have any sense of where the kayak rental launch is in relation to lot 44.

      August 8

  • Wingkeel

    I made it safe and sound. 41-miles by water. A bit tired but it was a GREAT adventure. I'm in site-95, which is a waste being an RV site. What was my takeaway? Look for constrictions and tide. I bucked the tide most of Thursday and only averaged 2mph.

    August 8

    • michele c

      Quite an accomplishment. I'm sure the views were great.

      August 8

  • anda p.

    Are we doing potluck for Sat. night dinner also?

    August 7

    • Karl

      Nothing organized at this point.

      August 7

  • diane

    anybody camping fri nite???

    August 6

    • Wingkeel

      I am, Diane. Your welcome to share my site. I"m not bringing a vehicle so there will be plenty of room. I'm at campsite 95.

      August 6

    • Karl

      Hi Diane - I will be there Friday. I think Shari will be as well

      August 7

  • Cindy S.

    Hi everyone/ Cant make it this weekend . have fun see you all soon

    August 7

    • Karl

      Cindy - I am so sorry to hear that! I was looking forward to some campfire time. next time for sure..right?

      August 7

  • Karl

    OK everyone..I am back. Fully recovered and looking forward to some kayaking and camping. >>> I called the park and we can use the community center tables for our pot luck..they are conveniently located directly across from my site #44. >>>lets post our lot #s so we can find each other <<<<

    also please post any outstanding questions concerns so I can help ;)

    August 6

    • Wingkeel

      Karl, glad to see you're back. See you Saturday.

      August 6

  • Wingkeel

    See ya'll Saturday! I'm heading out around 7:00 a.m. and will be primitive camping on the way down. Should be there sometime Friday afternoon or evening and will be staying at Campsite #95. I still don't have a place at Fort DeSoto for Saturday night but I do have a reservation to stay on Shell Island at their primitive camping site, so I'm good if nothing else turns up.

    August 6

  • Louanne R.

    *UPDATE*No Camping--Kayaking ONLY***** UPDATE* *YEA* **UPDATE** IF NOT CAMPING **KAYAK ONLY
    We None Campers, can meet the Group noonish ON SATURDAY, there is a Launch Site just before you get to the Camp Site We can put in at the Launch Site, I plan on 1130A, Paddle over to the Campers and POT LUCK, Saturday,Enjoy and Join the Paddle to Shell Island, and Sunday the Paddle is 830A put in at the Launch Site, and Paddle over to the Campers for a Great Sunday Morning Paddle, PS MY FOOD DONATION will be Sweet and Sour Beets, good for your immune system, and taste good too. also more PaperPlates, all carried in Kayak on Saturday Morning...See You Saturday and Sunday at the Launch Site for Non Campers

    1 · August 6

  • Wingkeel

    If anyone is interested in joining me, I'm leaving the Dunedin Causeway on Thursday @ 10:00am heading south by kayak. Will primitive camp on island 1C2 Thursday nite and get toFort DeSoto around 2:00pm Fri. My wife will pick me up Sunday for the trip home or I might do it in reverse... Should be a fun 45-50 mile one-way trip.

    August 5

  • Wingkeel

    For those who wish to camp Sat nite & don't have a campsite can obtain a free-permit to camp on Shell Island.

    August 5

    • michele c

      My friend reserved a site & can't use it. You can take it over from her if you want. Cost is 35.84 for Sat night. You can also get the permit for Shell Is.

      1 · August 5

  • Louanne R.

    Okay so, No camping means No Kayaking, may find another launch site and see you guys on the water, need at least one Kayak Day this weekend for sure....

    August 5

  • michele c

    A friend of mine reserved a site for her & her family & won't be able to use it as she was in a car accident. If you want it, you can pay me the money & I will get it to her.

    August 5

  • Louanne R.

    Hi Karl, Can Paddlers who are not camping join in? Are we invited? Can we meet up with you, if so where? Is there a Launching Charge? What Times? Are we included in Pot Luck? Just checking so we Non Campers can plan our Paddle WeekEnd.

    August 5

  • lois v.

    Sorry Teri, I answered you on your page, but I guess you didn't get it. Anyway my daughter came from AL. and is going to stay with Tammy for me to go on this outing, and I invited my friend Tina to share my site when I didn't hear from you.

    August 4

    • Teri H.

      Lois I replied, mabye I forgot to enter it but I'm going to share a site with Chai . Thanks ,anyway

      August 5

  • Wingkeel

    Well, I'm committed, now. I just reserved site # 95, a waterfront site for Friday night. Anyone up for sharing a site Saturday evening that might want to come out Friday and share Site 95? I'm bringing a spare 'yak, paddle and PFD.

    1 · August 4

  • Chai S.

    I don't know if there's any left, but if anyone needs a campsite, I've got #52 to share.

    1 · August 3

    • Wingkeel

      Chai, do you still have this campsite available? Terry southern [masked]

      August 4

  • Teri H.

    Just found someone to work for me & campsites full. Still trying to reach Lois to see if hers is still available. If not , if anyone has a site to share ,let me know. I can try and get a walk-in site that day but I hate to pack everything to camp without a back-up plan

    August 3

    • Wingkeel

      Hi Teri, Another possibility, if pack-in sites are available and available by water, is to kayak to the site. I can bring my spare 'yak as my wife's feelings concerning camping run toward the hostile side.

      August 4

  • Wingkeel

    I just tried to reserve a site and there weren't any. Lois posted she might have a site available. If that's the case, I could bring my spare kayak, a Scupper-Pro, if anyone would like to use it, otherwise, we'll see you next camping trip.

    August 4

  • lois v.

    I have a reservation for site # 49, I cannot use it because Tammy is extremely ill at this time, I can't leave her. Can someone please take my place and use this expensive piece of real estate? I do not want to be paid for it, I just want it to be used. [masked]

    July 31

    • Wingkeel

      Lois, do you still have this campsite available? Terry Southern [masked]

      August 4

  • michele c

    I can drive you there & then you can kayak back or you can put the yak on my car & we'll bring it back. It's not that far to the campsite or Shell Is.

    August 4

  • Teri H.

    Does anyone know how far away from the campsite the kayak rental place is?

    August 4

  • diane

    Anybody got a site to share on Friday nite?

    August 3

  • michele c

    Lois, I'm sending healing & good thoughts to Tammy & Destiny--you too!! You will be missed but we'll do another Ft Desoto trip when Tammy is healthier.

    July 31

  • Alan

    Hey guys, sorta new at this. I have plenty of camping gear, no kayak yet. I was about to book a site #82 and was wondering if I should book 8-10 checking out Monday(but would leave that evening of the 10, or just book the 9th. Did not know if they rush you out on Sunday morning. Thanks.

    July 18

    • Allan N.

      That confused me for a second.

      July 19

  • michele c

    It's really up to you & what you're most comfortable doing. Most are camping just Sat night. Karl will be there Fri & Sat. The rangers don't boot you out. I've packed up as late as 1 on Sun afternoon. You can rent a kayak if you choose.

    1 · July 18

    • Alan

      Cool, thanks for the info.

      July 18

  • Donna

    I wish I could go, going to see my daughter up north that time, hope I can make it another time!!

    1 · July 13

  • Louanne R.

    Hi, can I just come to Kayak?

    July 8

    • Karl

      I'll post the pot luck lunch and shell Island paddle as a separate calendar event so you can RSVP. It will be great!

      July 9

    • Karl

      Hey Louanne! Change your RSVP on this one to "No" cause you aren't camping!...I have separate Events for the kayaking we'll be doing..

      July 9

  • Louanne R.

    Yea, I am in for all the Kayaking...and want to help with clean up too..Sounds like a Great Day on the Water

    1 · July 8

  • michele c

    On Sat when everyone arrives & we have lunch, we can head to Shell Island--a short paddle, then walk the island & swim. I'll bring trash bags for those who want to do a clean-up. Let's plan for a night paddle Sat & one for Sun morning after breakfast.

    2 · July 8

  • Teri H.

    Are you having a Sunday paddle? Gotta work Sat. We camped there in May and took jet ski's to a sandbar that was on the right side of North Beach, I'm not sure how far of a paddle that would be ,but I got some great pictures there, if anyone gets a chance to go& they let you park extra cars on the main road, right before you turn right into the campground. Also, no beer allowed so you can't walk around with one in your hand but waterfront campsites are surrounded by bushes,very private & the beer police never busted us,but they are strict on only having 2 cars per site

    1 · July 8

    • Karl

      Hi Teri! How's it going? We might want to schedule a Saturday and a Sunday paddle. We have a couple like Penny and Louanne that only want to come for the paddle. I'll post those paddles as seperate calendar events so non-campers can sign up

      July 8

  • Rhonda

    I'm still deciding whether I'll be coming to this one. Does anyone have campsite to share, or should I go ahead and reserve my own?

    June 30, 2014

    • Karl

      I have room if you decide.

      June 30, 2014

  • Penny

    Can I come down and paddle with you?

    June 25, 2014

    • Karl

      let me think.....mmmmmm..okay! ;)

      1 · June 25, 2014

  • Kris G

    Jessica, I am down if you are still willing to share your site :) thanks

    1 · June 22, 2014

    • Jessica W.

      Yep, sounds like a plan my brother may also be coming that will make three tents at the site -since we are car pooling it will fit all the vehicles.

      1 · June 22, 2014

  • Kris G

    Is anyone still willing to share their site with me? I have my own tent. I am guessing that we can only have two cars a site and two tents. That's usually the standard.

    June 21, 2014

    • Karl

      Jessica offered to share site. I'm bring extra kayak.

      June 21, 2014

  • Kris G

    Also, someone said they had a spare kayak I can use?

    June 21, 2014

    • Karl

      Hi Kris - you can scroll to see earlier comments ;) ...yes, I have an extra kayak I am bringing for you. Jessica offered to let you share her site. This should be a great time!

      June 21, 2014

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