Barrier Free Trail

/Barrier Free Trail
Barrier Free Trail 2016-10-19T13:05:27+00:00
Barrier Free Trail ©Kathleen Finnerty
Barrier Free Sign at the Trail Entrance

Barrier Free Sign at the Trail Entrance

Experiencing the outdoors and being surrounded by nature is great therapy for the body and soul. In Florida, there are 1.2 million physically challenged people. With this in mind, the Friends of Fort De Soto, Inc., initiated a plan in 1997, to develop an interpretive nature trail to be enjoyed by all visitors to Fort De Soto Park, regardless of their physical capabilities. The idea was to provide a self-guided interpretive program along the trail making it possible for visitors to experience the beauty of nature through touch, smell, sight, or sound.

Fort De Soto Park staff and Sawgrass Lake Park naturalists worked together during 1998 to design the trail. The 2,200 foot long trail was built by park staff with assistance from Boy Scouts and other wonderful volunteer groups. Recycled materials were used and construction complies with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Raised timbers were placed eight feet apart for guidance and to allow enough space for wheelchairs to pass side-by-side. Concrete strips placed along the trail alert visitors to the interpretive stations or rest areas. Trail amenities include rest areas with benches and water fountains. Signs with interpretive messages, also recorded on touch-activated speaker boxes, enhance visitors’ experiences by providing helpful information about the nature trail. The Barrier-Free Nature Trail opens the natural world for all visitors to enjoy. The Friends of Fort De Soto, Inc., and the many dedicated volunteers involved in this project, hope you enjoy the trail and visit often.

This trail, as well as other facilities, accommodates most visitors. If you require special assistance or accommodation, please notify a staff member located in the park headquarters building.

Play the video

  • Barrier Free touch-activated speaker box

To help our physically challenged friends, The Friends of Fort De Soto, using contributions, has acquired four beach accessible wheel chairs that are free to use. Beach wheelchairs are available on a first-come; first-served basis. Ask about availability at the toll booth.

For more information about Fort De Soto Park, or Friends of Fort De Soto membership, please call (727) 582-2267. Pinellas County Park Department 631 Chestnut Street Clearwater, FL 33756-5336 Phone (727) 464-3347

Barrier Free Trail Fort De Soto
Wheel Chair
Barrier Free Trail Fort De Soto ©Kathleen Finnerty