A Native American mound and majestic shade trees welcome visitors to Philippe Park the oldest park in Pinellas County. Philippe Park is a Pinellas County park located in Safety Harbor, Florida. The Philippe Park is named after Count Odet Philippe, who is credited with introducing grapefruit to Florida. It is situated on 122 acres that was once part of Philippe’s plantation. Philippe was the county’s first non-native settler, arriving in 1842. Philippe is buried in the park, but the exact location is undetermined.
While at Philippe Park, take in the view of Old Tampa Bay while strolling along a one-mile shoreline. Enjoy picnicking, fishing, and historical points of interest. Kids love the playground, a rock-climbing park, ball field, and these open spaces to roam. A public boat ramp with access to Tampa Bay is open during park hours.
The Temple Mound was built by Native Americans known as the Tocobaga. It is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region and is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The mound was made of alternating layers of shell and sand. Remains of posts indicate there was at least one structure on top, possibly used for ceremonial purposes or the chief’s dwelling. Archaeologists believe the ramp led to a “town plaza” at the base of the mound.
Philippe Park was acquired in 1948, making it the oldest park in the county. This historically rich park bears the name of Count Odet Philippe who introduced citrus culture to Florida. The existing park property was part of the original Philippe plantation from which several citrus trees still remain.
One of the more colorful figures in Pinellas County’s past, Odet Philippe was the first permanent, non-native settler on the Pinellas County peninsula, acquiring 160 acres of land in what is today Safety Harbor in 1842. He was a successful businessman who introduced cigar making and citrus to Tampa Bay. His descendants, including the McMullen and Booth families, are among the county’s most well-known pioneer clans. Philippe was buried in the park – his former plantation – in 1869, but the exact location of the grave site is not known.
Park Amenities include 8 picnic shelters with grills (reserve shelters online), boat ramp (fee charged) fishing – saltwater license may be required, historic interest/Indian mound, 2 playgrounds, softball field, water fountains, restrooms and more.
The Park is located at 2525 Philippe Pkwy., Safety Harbor, FL 34695
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