Mound Key Archaeological State Park offers some of the most extreme topography for a hiking trail in southwest Florida. The trail traverses what remains of the Calusa Indians on this island that they built entirely out of shell. Remember that this park has no land access and requires a boat to visit. Paddle craft are available for rent and launching facilities are conveniently located at...
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Mound Key Archaeological State Park
Welcome to Mound Key Archaeological State Park
Framed in forests of mangrove trees, the shell mounds and ridges of Mound Key rise more than 30 feet above the waters of Estero Bay. Prehistoric Native Americans known as the Calusa were non-agricultural hunting and gathering chiefdom that dominated the waters of southwest Florida for over 2,000 years. Mound Key is believed to have been the ceremonial center of the Calusa Indians when the Spaniards first attempted to colonize Southwest Florida. In 1566, the Spanish governor of Florida established a settlement on the island with a fort and the first Jesuit mission in the Spanish New World. The settlement was abandoned three years later after violent clashes with the Indians. The only access to the island is by boat; there are no facilities. Interpretive displays can be found along a trail that spans the width of the island. Located in Estero Bay, several miles by boat from Koreshan State Historic Site or Lovers Key State Park.