Fort Foster State Historic Site is part of Hillsborough River State Park, though located on the East Side of US 301 from the park. Fort Foster is a reconstructed fort from the Second Seminole War. The Fort is located 1800 feet from the parking lot and has no restrooms available. Tours of the fort are offered (weather permitting) on Weekends and an annual Fort Foster Rendezvous with skirmishes is held in February.
An interpretive center is located on the West Side of U.S. 301 in Hillsborough River State Park. The interpretive center contains exhibits about the fort, the Seminoles, and the Second Seminole War. Admission to the visitor center is included in the entrance fee to Hillsborough River State Park.
History of the Area
The sites of Forts Alabama and Foster were erected in the same location during the Second Seminole War to defend a bridge which carried the Fort King Military Road across the Hillsborough River. Fort Alabama was established in March 1836 and was abandoned a few months later. The fort was destroyed in the apparent explosion by Seminoles of a booby trap left by departing troops. Fort Foster was established in the winter of 1836, again to safeguard the bridge, rebuilt after the original fort?s burning by Seminoles. The fort was abandoned in 1838. The location was considered unhealthy, as sickness occasionally threatened to render the fort indefensible. The site is listed on the National register of Historic Places. The Fort Foster property was originally deeded to the Florida State Parks in 1973 by a local rancher. After much research, the Division of Recreation and Parks has authentically reconstructed Fort Foster and the bridge it protected on the original site.
8am ? 5pm 365 days a year Located in the original 1930?s Ranger Station of Hillsborough River State Park and accessible from parking lot #1 the interpretive center offers a glimpse into the Second Seminole War and life at Fort Foster. Artifacts found at the fort site are on display along with maps and incorporated into exhibits exploring both sides of the conflict between Seminole Indians and US Forces.
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.