Mound Key Archeological State Park

C/O Koreshan State Park 3800 Corkscrew Road , Estero, Florida, US, 33928 | Directions

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 are credited with creating this island's complex of mounds with an accumulation of seashells, fish bones, and pottery. 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.

Bird and marine wildlife viewing are limitless. Dolphins and manatees are common sights along the island.

Saltwater fishing is always a popular pastime in the bay. There are several spots along the river for fishing. The Estero River is bracish with Snook, Mullet, Redfish, and other popular game fish. Freshwater fishing is also popular in the river. Freshwater Bass can be found as you paddle inland away from the Gulf. The Estero Bay is located about 3 miles by canoe down the river. It offers abundant saltwater fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. The bay is home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Manatees, and several game fish.

Pets are welcome at Mound Key if they are kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and are well behaved and maintained at all times.

Mound Key is managed by Koreshan State Historic Site. Koreshan State Historic Site is located off exit 123 on I75. Go west on Corkscrew Rd. cross US-41. Koreshans entrance is 1000 feet west of US-41 on the right. 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.