Dry Tortugas National Park


Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote national park located about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Here are some key details about Dry Tortugas National Park:

  • Location: The park consists of a group of seven small islands, including Garden Key, where Fort Jefferson is located. It is situated in the Gulf of Mexico and is only accessible by boat or seaplane.
  • Fort Jefferson: The park is home to Fort Jefferson, a massive 19th-century coastal fortress made of over 16 million bricks. It served as a military prison during the Civil War and is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Marine Life: Dry Tortugas National Park is known for its clear waters and diverse marine life. The coral reefs surrounding the islands are part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and provide excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
  • Birdlife: The islands serve as a crucial habitat for various seabirds, and the area is an important stopover for migratory birds. The park is a designated site on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
  • Loggerhead Key: One of the islands, Loggerhead Key, has a historic lighthouse and offers additional opportunities for exploration and bird watching.
  • Activities: Visitors to Dry Tortugas can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving, bird watching, and touring Fort Jefferson. The park is known for its pristine and isolated environment, providing a unique experience for those seeking a remote natural setting.
  • Access: Due to its remote location, access to Dry Tortugas National Park is limited. Visitors typically reach the park by ferry, private boat, or seaplane from Key West.
  • Camping: Camping is available on Garden Key, but it requires reservations, and campers must bring all their supplies, including water.

Dry Tortugas National Park was designated a national park in 1992 and is known for its historical and natural significance. The park attracts visitors interested in exploring the fort’s history, experiencing the vibrant marine life, and enjoying the tranquility of this remote and beautiful area.

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