Calusa Indians dominated southern Florida for centuries and resisted the Spanish explorers. Mound Key Archaeological Site is believed to be the ceremonial center of Calusa society.
The Indian shell mounds at the site rise more than 30 feet high and are estimated to date back nearly 2000 years. The site is only accessible by boat from the southern end of Estero Island, just north of Bonita Springs. Review the list of boat ramps in the Bonita Springs and Estero areas. The closest boat ramp and causeway area is at Carl Johnson State Park at Lover’s Key. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent.
Seasonally the entire Estero Bay and back water area is a no wake zone. Be sure to check the speed zones and adhere to the seasonal guidelines or risk getting a ticket for a manatee zone violation.
Be sure to take sunscreen and plenty of mosquito repellant. Open flames are not permitted due to drought conditions, and uh, the ability of the fire department to not drive there and put the fire out.
Mound key is a great day trip for boaters if they’re spending the afternoon at Lover’s Key Beach. It’s about a 10 minute boat ride away from the drawbridge at Fort Myers Beach by Lover’s Key State park.
Two items to be mindful of while visiting Mound Key.
- You may smell a skunk smell but it’s only a plant that produces the odor and probably not the live animal.
- Keep an eye out for the spiny orb weaver spider. They’re very unusual, brightly colored and have a shell sort of like a crab.
Related information: Check out this awesome Blueway map for boaters, kayakers and canoers.