CRYSTAL RIVER ARCHAEOLOGICAL STATE PARK
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 area within the park has been largely altered by man. Clearings associated with the mound complex are adjacent to a dense tree line that works well for bird watching. The site will be listed as a birding area in the Great Florida Birding Trail. It is one of four ADA accessible birding sites in Citrus County.
STUDY OF THE LOCAL PRE-HISTORIC COASTAL DWELLERS. The primary reason for this site's place in the Florida State Park Service is to preserve and interpret the mound structures, burial areas and the lifeways of the coastal dwellers who used the area in ancient times. The visitor center contains exhibits that display artifacts related to the site and provides a few comparisons with what was occurring in other parts of the world during similar time periods.
HERITAGE-ECO BOAT TOURS. The vessel "Monroe" (26 passengers) is the vehicle for a lower river Heritage-Eco Tour. The program " The Ancient River Dwellers" is provided weekly. The 1? hour trip allows the participants the opportunity to see the coastal marsh and learn how it and the associated marine estuary provided for the pre-Columbian people that lived here. Boat trips currently run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but are subject to change due to weather conditions. Call the park for confirmation of days and details at (352) 795-3817.
Anglers may catch saltwater and freshwater fish in designated areas.