The lighthouse will be open for climbing, hopefully, November 11-12, then the second weekend of each month through May, 2024.  Renovations are ongoing so the November date is tentative.  Check back here for the latest updates.

Help Needed After Hurricane Idalia!

Storm surge coupled with high tide caused the entire island of Anclote Key to be under 2.5 to 3.0 feet of water for a period of time. As most of the island is natural, changes and/or damage caused by a hurricane is normal.  You may see piles of seaweed, sea oats laying down instead of upright, movement of sand from one place to another, and possible loss of native trees.  Sadly, all unhatched turtle nests were lost.  Conversely, the eagle nest remained in place along with the eagle pair!

However, life on the island for Ranger Tod is a struggle.  Big ticket items that need fixing or replacement include the:

  • Boat lift
  • Pumps for the reverse osmosis system
  • Electrical dock box
  • Power inverters
How can you help?

For now, the best thing you can do is to:

  • Bring trash bags with you to the island, fill them with trash, and bring them home to discard.  Do not leave trash bags on the island as there is no way to remove them. 
  • Respect the island and follow the rules.  Dogs, alcohol, and drones are not permitted on the island. 
  • Contribute money to help Ranger Tod replace a long list of hand-held tools; he will be creating a list as he continues to gather information.  All donations to the Friends are 100% tax deductible.  DONATE HERE
  • Become a member of the Friends to show your support.  Your membership dollars support Ranger Tod and the island in a big way.  

Friends of Anclote Key State Park & Lighthouse

The Friends is a volunteer organization that supports Anclote Key State Park and the lighthouse.  It is a Citizens Support Organization (CSO) designated by the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  It is composed of people who care about the ecological health of the islands and the integrity of the lighthouse.


To support the Florida State Park Service in its efforts to preserve the ecological health of the Anclote islands and associated underwater habitats, and also sustain the structural integrity, appearance and visitation of Anclote Lighthouse.

Anclote Key Preserve State Park

Anclote Key Preserve State Park covers the islands of Anclote Key, Three Rooker Bar, and North Bar.  All are barrier islands about three miles offshore of the mainland with Tarpon Springs the nearest town onshore.  The largest of the islands is Anclote Key, a four-mile nature preserve composed of sandy beaches, maritime hammock, mangroves, and seagrass beds.  North Bar is now completely underwater at high tide.  The islands composing Three Rooker Bar are constantly changing in shape, size, and number of islands.  Named for the historical three wooden structures (now gone) built on the bar for the collection of guano, Three Rooker Bar now exists as two small eroding islands.  All the islands of Anclote Key State Park are important bird nesting, feeding, and resting areas.  All the islands are accessible only by boat; there are no bridges or causeways leading to the islands.  A State Park Ranger lives and works full time on Anclote Key.  Visitors are encouraged to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.  

Because Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar are nature preserves, no dogs are allowed.  This is primarily to protect the nesting and resting birds of the islands and other native island wildlife.  North Bar, a sand spit north of Anclote Key is open for dogs on 6' leashes.  Honeymoon Island to the south has a dog beach where dogs can play on 6' leashes as well.

Anclote Lighthouse

The lighthouse is a historic portion of the state park, owned and managed by the state park system and staff.  The lighthouse is open for climbing during scheduled open houses that are run by the Friends of Anclote Key and during private tours, also run by the Friends of Anclote Key.  Visitors can always walk up to the locked fence surrounding the lighthouse to get a close view on any given day from dawn to dusk.  The pit toilet is closed due to hurricane damage.  Educational signage and picnic tables are nearby for public use.  Please see other pages of this website for more information about Open Houses, Private Tours, and History of the Lighthouse.  


Anclote Key Preserve State Park is open for visitation throughout the islands, and primitive camping is allowed at the northern end of Anclote Key.  Please be aware of the following:

  • There is no electricity. 
  • There is no fresh water.  
  • Everything you need must be brought with you.  
  • There are no trash receptacles so all trash must be taken with you when you leave the island.  
  • The island is well known for its biting gnats, "no-see-ums," and mosquitoes, so plan accordingly.  
  • Shade is minimal, so plan for extreme sun exposure.  
  • No dogs are allowed anywhere on the island.  
  • No drones are allowed on or near the island.
  • No alcohol is permitted on the island.
Please be aware of weather and tides during your stay.  Camping is free but registration is required.  Please call Ranger Tod Cornell at 727-638-4447 to register.  

For more information about Anclote Key Preserve State Park, please visit:


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Many thanks to Friends Board member, Bobby Gause, for the photos below!

Florida Lighthouse Association

Grants funded by the Lighthouse License Plate Funds help our lighthouse and many others - get yours today!

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