Description - 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. Reachable only by boat, this 4 mile stretch of sand offers remote camping and good wildlife viewing opportunities. The surrounding waters near the Pinellas County Aquatic Preserve are well-known for attracting sponge divers.
- Blue Gulf waters lap gently upon the preserve's beautiful four mile long beach. A picturesque 1887 lighthouse stands sentinel on the southern end of the island while ospreys nest in the tall pines found throughout the island. Nature study is perhaps Anclote's biggest attraction, offering natural vegetation, unspoiled beaches and abundant birdlife. Anclote Key is an excellent swimming and nature site. However, due to its remoteness, visitors must plan ahead by bringing all water and supplies, and then carrying all litter out. Anclote Key is accessible only by private boat.
Recreation - 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. Swimming is excellent in the shallow Gulf waters. Swimmers should watch for occasionally heavy boat traffic.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
Anclote Key State Preserve is located in Southwest Florida, three miles off Tarpon Springs and northwest of the city of Tampa. Anclote Key is accessible only by private boat.