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Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > State Parks

While the vast majority of visitors head for Central Florida and the theme parks around Orlando, there are some who travel a bit further afield to get a feel for what many, including the residents, would call ‘the Real Florida’.

So for anybody venturing further than just Kennedy Space Center what other areas of interest are there? Well if your travels take you to the area around Tallahassee, the State Capital of Florida, then why not take a trip to the Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park.

The park is situated just off the US 27 about two miles north of its junction with the I-10 in Tallahassee and is the perfect place to get away from city life and learn about the history of the local area, while exploring the nature trails or just enjoying a picnic.

The site is a large ceremonial center dating back to the 12 – 1500AD period of Florida' s history, and comprises of six earthen temple mounds. Over eight hundred years ago the area around Lake Jackson was inhabited by Native Americans and today the park is part of what is now known as the South Eastern Ceremonial Complex. The largest of the mounds is roughly 36 feet high and is approximately 210 feet by 280 feet at the base. In addition to the temple mounds there is also what is believed to be a burial mound. Many pre-Columbian artefacts have been found inn the area including necklaces, bracelets, anklets, copper breastplates and even cloaks.

Evidence of Florida' s more recent history can also be viewed. In the mid-1800s, during the period of Florida’s early statehood, the land was part of a large plantation owned by Col. Robert Butler who was Florida' s first Surveyor General under Governor Andrew Jackson. Remnants of this period, such as the remains of an 1800’s grist mill, may be seen as you stroll along the nature trail within the park. For those with time to plan their visit in advance you can book a private ranger-guided tour. Two weeks notice is required however. Otherwise group guided tours, led by volunteers, and interpretive programs of the park are available upon request.

Upon leaving the US 27 take Crowder Road to Indian Mounds Road and pay the entrance fee ($3 per vehicle). Please use the honesty box if the gate is not manned.

Visitors interested in learning more about the park should contact the park office at 850-922-6007

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Page added on: 16 October 2010
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