Spring is finally here and the park is looking great. The migration is in full swing and birds can be heard throughout the Southernmost State Park. Spring also brings events to Key West, and Fort Zachary Taylor loves to get involved. From Civil War Events to local parades, the staff and volunteers at Fort Taylor are ready to engage. Come on down to the park, take a tour of our Historic...
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Fort Taylor - Beach
Spend your day swimming or snorkeling at Florida's southernmost state park. A sprawling beach of sand and pebbles, and nearby breakwaters teeming with tropical fish, ensure great fun in the sun for both beachcombers and snorkelers. Known by the locals as 'Fort Zach,' or 'rocky beach,' our park boasts the best swimming on the island. Situated next to the main shipping channel, the currents here keep the water clean and clear. Snorkeling equipment can be rented or purchased at the concession located in the picnic area. Showers are available to rinse off after a relaxing day in the sun. Water shoes are recommended because of the rocky sea bottom. No lifeguards, swim at own risk.
Fort Taylor - Bicycling
Biking is known as the best form of transportation in Key West. Here at Fort Zachary Taylor we accommodate bicyclists by providing plenty of bike racks, trails and even a dedicated entry lane for cyclists and walkers. Grab your picnic items, put them in your bike basket, and come enjoy a relaxing day under our shady hammock by the beach. When you are feeling energetic, just hop on your bike and try out one of our bike trails. The concession also rents bikes if you arrive without one.
Fort Taylor - Birding
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is proud to be a part of The Great Florida Birding Trail. Come see the Fall and Spring bird migrations. Bird lists are available at the ranger station.
Fort Taylor - Canoe Kayak Launch
Bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and launch on our beach to explore the Atlantic Ocean. Don't forget your lifejackets and remember to fill out a float plan at the ranger station for safety.
Fort Taylor - Canoeing and Kayaking
Bring your own canoe or kayak or paddleboard and use our launch on the east end of the beach. All hard bottom floatation devices must remain outside swim buoys.
Fort Taylor - Concession and Restaurant
Food and refreshments are available at the Cayo Hueso Café, where you can taste the local cuisine while gazing at the ocean. The concessionaire also operates a small gift shop where you can pick up last minute items such as sunscreen, towels and snorkel gear. A chickee hut rents chairs, umbrellas, snorkel gear and bikes. If you would like to get married at the most beautiful place in Key West, the concession will help you find the perfect location. The concession is open from 10am-5pm daily. Visit their website at www.fortzacharytaylor.com
Fort Taylor - Fishing
Fishing is very popular in the Florida Keys and Fort Zachary Taylor is no exception. Try your skill, and luck, fishing off our rock jetty adjacent to the main shipping channel. Grouper, snapper, jacks, tarpon and other local favorites can be challenged by anglers of all ages. Don't forget to bring your fishing license and a camera.
Fort Taylor - Geo-Seeking
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.
The Operation Recreation GeoTour hosted by Geocaching.com, stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 71 of the First Three Time National Gold Medal Award Winning Florida State Parks and Trails. Visit 20 caches and win the Official Operation Recreation Geocoin. Download and print the Official Tracking Sheet to begin your adventure. Remember to cache and save with unlimited entry for a year with the Florida State Parks Annual Pass.
The Florida Park Service is proud to announce it has launched the Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Look inside Operation Recreation GeoTour geocaches for one of six possible Nature Cards. Every cache has one of six species. Record the name of the Florida State Park where you first find each of the six species on the Kids Official Tracking Sheet. Find all six species and win the ORGT Kids GeoTour Geocoin!
Fort Taylor - Hiking Nature Trail
Get back in touch with nature and come explore the Tropical Hammock Trail to learn about our native plants. When you've finished, walk along the Fort View nature trail and take in the view of our 19th century fortification from the outside.
Fort Taylor - Historic Site
Dear Civil War Enthusiast,
We invite you to participate in Living History at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on the third weekend of each month. These events portray the time period of 1861-1862 at a Federal fortress. First person interpretation, weapons demonstrations and camp life are featured from 10am-2pm each day. Union and Confederate soldiers, townspeople, craftspeople, and performers, are all part of the re-enactments, which focus on educating the public by sharing the history of Fort Taylor and life during the Civil War.
Fort Taylor - Historic Site
Take a stroll through the 1800's in our Civil War era fort. Built to guard the harbor of Key West, Fort Taylor was used in the Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Come see the largest collection of seacoast guns and take the daily tour at 11:00am. You can also explore on your own following the self guided tour. Open daily from 8am to 5pm.
Fort Taylor - Interpretive Exhibit
Visit historic Fort Taylor and see our new interpretive panels. Used in addition to the self guided tour brochures, these new panels will take you deeper into the construction and use of this Third Tier System fort.
Fort Taylor - Picnicking
Bring your fresh catch and cook it right here in our lovely shaded picnic area. Picnic tables and charcoal grills are provided for your convenience, or you can bring your own. This park is pack in pack out, so please bring your trash with you when you go.
Fort Taylor - Scuba Diving
Come see the new coral reef being built right here in Key West. Please bring a dive flag if you plan on using scuba equipment, and always bring a partner.
Fort Taylor - Shower Station
Grab a clean water rinse before you leave the park at two different locations. Please use water only - no soap products allowed.
Fort Taylor - Snorkeling
Bring your snorkel gear or rent some here. Fort Zachary Taylor provides some of the best snorkeling from the beach in the Florida Keys. Good for beginners and novices alike.
Fort Taylor - Swimming
Come and take advantage of the best swimming location in Key West. The water is shallow, yet deep enough to swim and snorkel. Water shoes are recommended.