One of my little family’s favorite pastimes is packing up, heading south about 20 minutes to the edge of the peninsula, and spending a night camping under the stars at Fort De Soto Park.
The fort, constructed in the late 1800s during the Spanish-American War, is now a historic park that also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the US. The campground hosts many water front sites, and a gorgeous natural setting for camping enthusiasts to enjoy.
Saturday was spent setting up camp, playing at the beach (we took our puppy, Stella, to the dog beach for her first romp in the Gulf, she loved it!), goofing around at the playground, and of course, relaxing by a fire under the evening stars.
There’s a great running trail that spans the island, so upon waking this morning I laced up my shoes and hit the trail for a gorgeous morning run.
The first three and a half miles were spent on the paved trail, winding along palm tree lined pavement. It was a beautiful cool morning, making for a very enjoyable run. This weekend was my last chance to get a solid long run in before my Double Race Challenge next weekend, so I made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity this morning. I have also kept in mind that last years Warrior Dash contained a lot of sand running, so upon reaching the north end of the island I turned in and headed out onto the beach for my return trip.
I love Fort De Soto Beach! It’s beautiful and secluded, and makes you feel like you are miles and miles away from civilization. It’s one of those places that truly makes you fall in love with Florida!
Upon reaching the fort, I made the climb to the top to overlook the Gulf.
I climbed back down, proceeded past the Fort, the beach turned a corner and the Sunshine Skyway came into view! I tried to get a good photo, but with the phone it’s a bit tough to see. Look hard and you can see it in the background of the next picture!
A few miles of beach later, I headed back to the campground, ending with a total running distance of 7.7 miles! It was a great run, and I really enjoyed he beauty and challenge of a few beach miles mixed in!
We are back from camping and are relaxing in the comfort of our home, but we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend a beautiful weekend outdoors. (Especially since we know much of the nation is experiencing snow!)
Wishing you all a beautiful day!