A National Historic Landmark, this 61-acre, pre-Columbian, Native American site has burial mounds, temple/platform mounds, a plaza area, and a substantial midden.

The six-mound complex is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida. For 1,600 years the site served as an imposing ceremonial center for Native Americans. People traveled to the complex from great distances to bury their dead and conduct trade. It is estimated that as many as 7,500 Native Americans may have visited the complex every year. Although primarily an archaeological site, the park sits on the edge of an expansive coastal marsh.

Anglers may catch saltwater and freshwater fish. As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, the park offers bird-watchers the chance to observe a variety of birds. The park has a boat tour of the river every Friday, weather permitting. Located on Museum Pointe in Crystal River.

The Crystal River Archaeological State Park is now surrounded by the Crystal River Preserve State Park. For the first time an opportunity is provided which will allow the pre-Columbian Ceremonial Complex and hundreds of associated cultural deposits along the coast to be mapped as a layer on a geographical information system. The comprehensive management of these cultural sites may provide additional insight into the lives of people that lived here in ancient times.

During the next few years this research and mapping will be accomplished by park staff working with park volunteers and archaeologists from the Gulf Archaeology Research Institute. The information gained will likely be rapidly incorporated in addition at indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits.

Source: Florida State Parks

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