Fort Foster State Historic Site

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Fort Foster State Historic Site, home of the annual Fort Foster Rendezvous and other living history events, is part of Hillsborough River State Park, though located on the East Side of US 301 from the park. Fort Foster State Historic Site is a reproduction of a fort originally built on the same grounds in December 1836, by Col. William S. Foster and his 430 men. During the Second Seminole War the purpose of Fort Foster was to defend the bridge crossing at the Hillsborough River and act as a resupply point for the soldiers in the field. The fort was garrisoned on and off from December, 1836 – April, 1838. Although the fort was attacked on several occasions, the worst attack occurred in February 1836, when a small group of Seminoles attempted to set fire to the bridge. The attempt was thwarted by aggressive musket and cannon fire from the fifty or so U.S. Navy sailors and the 20 artillery men within the fort.

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Today, park staff and reenactors provide living history demonstrations of life at Fort Foster. Each year, the site offers two living history events: Fort Foster Rendezvous in January, and the Candlelight Experience at Fort Foster in December.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The fort was designed for war and not built to modern safety standards. Rough terrain, uneven floors and blockhouse stairs can be hazardous. Please remain aware of your surroundings as you tour. In particular, pay close attention to small children.

Help preserve the fort by not climbing, sitting, touching or placing any items on the cannons. The fort and its artifacts may look durable but they are subject to wear and tear. The Florida Park Service cares for special places so that all may experience our Florida heritage.

Interpretive Center
Accessible from parking lot #1, at Hillsborough River State Park, this center houses over 100 artifacts on display that were found at the Fort Foster Historic Site. Exhibits offer an understanding of both sides of the conflict between the Seminole nation and the US military. The center is open daily, from 8am – 5pm.

Access and Fees
Fort Foster is not open for visitation on a daily basis. The Fort is opened for guided tours and for special events. Tour Times: First and Third Saturday of each month, at 2pm; First and Third Sunday of each month, at 11am.

Regular Park Fees:
Note: Unless the fort is host to a special event, regular park fees to Hillsborough River State Park apply:
$6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle. $2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
$60.00 per bus load of people or $2.00 per person, whichever is less.

Fort Foster Tour Fees:
$2.00 per adult.
$1.00 per child, 6 to 12.
Free, 5 and younger.

Directions to Fort Foster State Historic Site
All Visitors to Fort Foster must enter through Hillsborough River State Park first. Hillsborough River State Park is located 9 miles north of Tampa and 6 miles south of Zephyrhills on US Highway 301. From I-75, South bound from Ocala take the SR 54. Exit #279 east to Hwy 301, travel South for 6 miles, and the park will be on your right-hand side. From I-75, North bound from Tampa take the Fowler Ave. Exit #265 east to Hwy 301, travel North for 9 miles, and the park will be on your left-hand side. From I-4, West bound take Exit 10 go north on C.R. 579 to US 301, follow the signs and go North 7 miles the park will be on your left-hand side. From I-4, East bound take Exit 7 (be careful of the merges) and go North on US 301 for 14 miles, the park will be on your left-hand side.

View Fort Foster Rendezvous Details

View Fort Foster School Days Detail