DeSoto National Memorial

Overlooking Tampa Bay near the mouth of the Manatee River, this memorial marks the site of DeSoto's 1539 winter encampment. Walk the 0.5-mile self-guided trail through the mangrove wetlands.

Watchable Wildlife:
Check the live oaks for migratory warblers in the spring and fall. Scan the waters of Tampa Bay for porpoises. The mangrove forest and shallow water host crabs and small fish that are a favorite food of raccoons. The mangroves are also a good place to check for yellow-crowned night herons. Wading birds and shorebirds forage in the shallow water and along the beach. Great and little blue herons, great and snowy egrets and willets are commonly spotted. Along the trail, skinks and anoles are numerous.

National Park Service

(941) 792-0458

From Bradenton, go west on SR 64 for 5 miles and turn north on 75th St. W. Travel 2.5 miles to the park entrance.

Related Sites:
Other West Central Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks

FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes eat aquatic invertebrates (insects, crustaceans and mollusks), small vertebrates (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals), roots, acorns and berries.

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