Mound Key Archaeological State Park

Mound Key Archaeological State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Road

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.

Directions to Mound Key Archaeological State Park

Mound Key is accessible by boat only. It can be reached by the Estero River and accessed at the Koreshan State Historic Sites boat ramp. It is approximately 3.5 miles from the boat ramp to the island. Also Lovers Key State Park on Estero Island offers a boat ramp which can be used as a starting point. 

Mound Key Coordinates 

26°25’25.00” N 

81°52’00.35” W


Donny Blair

Friday, July 20, 2018
Interesting place to visit. We started kayaking from Koreshan State Park to get here. It was a long paddle. I would look for a closer boat ramp if there's a next time.

Matthew Arnold

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
This is an amazing spot. The entrance is in a hidden little cove that the Indians carved out back in the day. We had two 4 year olds with us that loved the island. We saw tortoises and various other animals along the trails. The island is also partially privately owned. That area is fenced off and you can see wild goats kicking around living the island life. Pretty cool!

Tim Jurasevich

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017
Great island to kayak out to and explore for a bit. There are at least two beaches to land your kayak on - one on the western side of the island that will require walking through some wet trails and one on the southeastern side of the island that immediately leads to the trails on the island. This used to serve as the capital city of the Calusa.

Mary Jansma

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016
Very nice paddle to get there. Park is unkept. Trail is overgrown. Wear lots of mosquito repellent. Have wanted to see it for a long time. A little disappointed.

Oscar Rangel

Monday, July 25, 2016
Great island to explore!! Keep in mind though that it is very unkempt!! By this I mean is if very very natural!! The paths are not as apparent as normal busy parks. So you can maybe loose your way a little and have to cut through some overgrowth on the trails. Nonetheless it is a beautiful place.

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