Lovers Key State Park Report
(Mound Key)

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Report By:  admin    Date: 11/5/2008 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: See 3 photos     Map & Directions: View

Mound Key Archaeological State Park is located in Estero Bay and can also be accessed by Koreshan State Park (the managing park).

My Report:

The 7th Annual Multiclub Paddlers Picnic was held in conjunction with the Calusa Blueway Festival this year. While it was not a very well-attended picnic compared to past years, the paddle was great! About 32 kayaks paddled out to Mound Key after lunch. It was a short paddle (about 3 miles roundtrip) which gave everyone time to relax and talk with fellow paddlers from Paradise Paddlers, SW Florida Paddlers (our hosts), Blazing Paddles, Fort Myers Meet Up and others. Our first wildlife encounter was with several bottle-nosed dolphin swimming around the launch site.

Mound Key has 2 tiny access points so the group split up to allow room for all the kayaks to land. One access point is on the open bay and one is on the west side of the island in a mangrove lagoon. There is a trail from both spots that meet on the top of the highest mound so our group actually came back together as we each hiked to the top! There is lush and varied vegetation along the trail and more butterflies than I've ever seen in one place: mostly zebra and mangrove buckeyes. There were also some nice BIG specimens of golden orb spider.

The mounds are impressive when you stop to think how many shells and bones went into creating the 32 foot elevation. That's alot of feasting! They date back around 2000 years to the Calusa Indians that inhabited the area. The Spanish started a settlement on the island in 1566 with a fort and the first Jesuit mission in Florida. That only lasted 3 years because the Calusas weren't interested! Unfortunately they either succumbed to diseases they couldn't fight, were enslaved or killed or it's thought some moved to Cuba. So there are no descendents of this group of Native Americans left in this country.

The paddle ended with more dolphins and lots of great memories!

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 1.5
Fees/Costs $: 0

Photos from Mound Key:    (Click image to view full size)

Mike Standerfer No Comm
Mike Standerfer

Mike Standerfer, our guide, member of SW Florida Paddlers and Paradise Paddlers

Mound Key summit No Comm
Mound Key summit

James & Gerry Hessler and Monica & Frank Woll

Mangrove buckeye No Comm
Mangrove buckeye

mangrove buckeye butterfly on Mound Key, Junonia evarete


Post Date: 11/6/2008

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