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About 1,000 years ago this island was pushed up from the Gulf floor to rest on a limestone platform. Its geologic growth hasn't stopped. Recent research has documented a 30 percent increase in the size of Anclote since 1957.

The remoteness of this unique island is the key to respecting its fragile beauty and character. The lighthouse at the island's southern end served as a beacon to ships for years after President Grover Cleveland declared Anclote Key a lighthouse reservation in 1886 and the lighthouse and two houses for its keepers were built. In 1984 the lighthouse was decommissioned after modern navigation technology made the lighthouse obsolete.

Rare and endangered species find sanctuary here, delighting thousands of nature lovers each year. Anclote Key is home to at least 43 species of birds, including the American oystercatcher, bald eagle, and piping plover. Perched in towering pine snags that pepper the island are the nests of ospreys. Endangered loggerhead and green turtles are occasionally seen.

There are six distinct biological communities found on Anclote Key; marine sands, beach-dune, maritime hammock, mesic flatwoods, tidal marsh and swamp.

Primitive camping is available on Anclote Key. There are grills, tables and pit toilets. Campers must bring their own water. Arrangements for camping must be made in advance prior to camping.

The camping fee is $3.00 per person 18 years of age and over. $2.00 for anyone under the age of 18.

Swimming is excellent in the shallow Gulf waters. Swimmers should watch for occasionally heavy boat traffic. Nature study is perhaps Anclote's biggest attraction, offering natural vegetation, unspoiled beaches and abundant bird life.

Anclote Key State Preserve is located three miles off Tarpon Springs and is accessible only by private boat.

For more information on Anclote Key, write to:
Anclote Key State Preserve
D4 - # 1 Causeway Blvd
Dunedin, FL 34698
or call (727) 469-5942

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