Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Quick Facts

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park


(305) 292-6713

Map Directions

Things To Do


Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Florida's southern most state park is popular for recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. A beautiful beach at the southern end of the park provides opportunities for picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a short nature trail and bicycling within the park. A refreshment stand at the beach offers snacks, cold beverages, beach sundries, and souvenirs. Guided tours of the fort are available daily.

Map of Fort Zachary Taylor (FL)

Latitude, Longitude: 24.550350, -81.806308



  • Bicycling

    Bicycles are welcome at Fort Zachary Taylor. A bicycle trail around the moat, and along the shipping channel, provides an excellent short ride through the significant park features. Due to the number of bicyclists that visit the park, and in an attempt to preserve the aesthetics of this island paradise, bicycles are restricted from the picnic areas and the beach. Bike racks are provided at several locations within the park for your convenience.

  • Fishing

    Try your luck at catching something along the entrance to the Key West Harbor. The main ship channel is approximately 33-feet deep and provides the angler with access to a variety of saltwater fish. If you just end up fishing, you will have an extraordinary view and can watch the boats come and go as you enjoy your day. Fishing at the end of the day can be even more enjoyable, for the park boasts the best place to be in Key West to view the sunset.

  • Hiking

    There are two short trails in the park; the Sand Hog Trail, located near the beach, loops through an area of native trees and vegetation typically found along the coast in the Florida Keys. Several interpretive plaques identify various plants and provide interesting information that you may not know. The other trail, Fort View Trail, takes you through a small section of tropical hammock that overlooks the fort and moat. The native trees provide essential food and habitat needed for many of the migratory bird species that frequent this area. Fort Taylor is the last stop for many of these species that get the rest and re-nourishment needed before continuing their migratory journey. Birds that have never before been seen in the United States, have been spotted at Fort Taylor and usually along the Fort View Trail.

  • Historic Sites

    Guided tours of historic Fort Taylor are offered daily at Noon and 2 p.m. Have a ranger explain how Fort Taylor shortened the Civil War and why the fort was reduced from three stories to one. A wealth of history and information are available during the guided tours. If you can't make the guided tour, grab a self-guide and dive into the the fascinating history of Fort Zachary Taylor.

  • Picnicking

    Shaded picnic areas are available for visitors to enjoy their catch of the day. These areas include tables and grills. The park's concession offers a variety of food and beverage as well as a gift shop. Umbrellas, beach chairs, and snorkel gear are available for rent. Enjoy the great view and pleasant setting of the concession deck as you enjoy your meal.

  • Water Sports

    The waters off Fort Taylor offer one of the best beach dives available in the Florida Keys. Moderate depths of up to 20 feet and excellent water quality provide an opportunity to view both hard and soft corals as well as numerous species of tropical fish. Don't be surprised if you see giant grouper, huge tarpon or schools of baitfish. Since the park is located right where the Gulf meets the Atlantic, you never know what you may see.

    Just off the beach you will see numerous fish and coral. Since water conditions dictate visibility, please call ahead and park staff will give you the daily conditions. Winds and waves can reduce visibility greatly. Conditions can improve overnight so watch the weather and call ahead.

    Water quality is excellent and conditions are usually favorable for a swim at Fort Taylor. Occasionally, there are marine creatures present that you need to be aware of. Just remember to always be careful, be aware of your surroundings, be safe and, most of all, have fun.

Park Partners

Friends of Fort Taylor

(305) 293-3678

Fort Zachary Taylor

(305) 295-0037



Fort Zachary Taylor is located at the end of Southard Street on Truman Annex in Key West.

Phone Numbers


(305) 292-6713