Description - 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.
- Camping and additional recreational activities are available at Koreshan State Historic Site. Please click the Activities link on Koreshan's website.
Bird and marine wildlife viewing are limitless. Dolphins and manatees are common sights along the island. For more information on Wild Life Viewing at parks in this area go to Koreshan State Park and click on the Activities link.
Recreation - The park is in development stages. Nature trails and kiosk with historical information are planned for the future. For more information on Nature Trails at parks in this area go to Koreshan State Park and Estero Bay Preserve State Park and click on the Activities link.
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.
Climate - Florida's weather is dominated by the water that surrounds it. The Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west provide a stabilizing force that maintains the mild climate. Northern Florida is considered sub tropical, although it does receive some snow. This area is drier than the rest of the state. Southern areas of the state, definitely the Keys, lie within a tropical climate. Humidity is high, a characteristic of the climate, although the temperatures usually don't extend past 90 degrees F.
On the average the state receives 50 to 65 inches of rain. Summer is the rainy season, which extends into October in the south. Hurricane season begins in late August. Some hurricanes can bring up to 25 inches of rain. An average of two hurricanes per season reach the Florida peninsula. Most often these storms reach the Atlantic Coast rather than the Gulf Coast.
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. Koreshan's 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.