For those who are fascinated by native history and culture a visit to Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park should be near the top of your ‘must-visit’ list.
Situated in Tallahassee, this 188-acre park is home to Florida’s tallest Native American earthwork mound. Used for ceremonial purposes, this prehistoric landmark stands an imperious 46 feet high and is believed to have been built around 1100 to 1800 years ago.
Aside from the mound, this Florida state park also presents an exhibit of artifacts that date back approximately 10,000 years. Providing clear evidence of human habitation within it.
Other popular activities here include hiking, picnicking, birding and nature spotting.
While there is no accommodation directly onsite, there are plenty of other campsites nearby in the Florida Keys where you can stay at.
Visitors can partake in a range of outdoor recreational pursuits during their time at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park.
Outlined below is further information about some of the more popular activities you can do whilst you are there.
Mound at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
The main drawcard of the park is undoubtedly its mound.
Measuring in at 300 feet wide and about 46 feet high, it is one of only three sites in the Florida Panhandle that features them.
While the mound has trees and verdant underbush sprouting from it now, when it was initially created it was believed to have been completely free from vegetation – possibly even smoothed at the sides.
Likely made on flat plazas that were purposely leveled, they acted as meeting places for ceremonial rituals, major celebrations and games.
During your visit to the park, you can choose to peruse the mound independently. Alternatively you might prefer to partake in an hour long, ranger-led interpretive tour that will provide you with a deeper insight into its construction and cultural significance.
Interpretive Exhibit at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
The people who constructed the mound are understood to have come from the Swift Creek Culture. This is an ancient community of Native Americans who resided in and around the North Florida region at some time between 200 and 450 A.D.
Within the park you will find an interpretive exhibit at the picnic pavilion. This exhibit provides lots of information about the community, the surrounding area and how they lived within it.
Hiking at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
For those who want to explore more than just the mound there are a couple of hiking trails available to tackle.
The most popular one is the interpretive trail that begins at its base, near the boardwalk and extends for about half a mile.
Taking you round the perimeter of the mound it also connects to the Weeden Trail which will take you on a further exploration of the park.
Picnicking at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
Whilst visiting the park many guests choose to indulge in an outdoor picnic.
Within it, there is a picnic pavilion set up near a prime viewing area for the mound. This area is wheelchair accessible and is also situated near restrooms for guest’s convenience.
Birding at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
As the park is home to a variety of woodland and shorebirds, you’ll want to make sure you bring your binoculars with you.
Many of these breeds live in the park all throughout the year, while others only use it as a temporary rest stop during their migratory season.
Depending on what time of the year you visit the park you might be able to see Carolina chickadees, red-shouldered hawks, northern cardinals, tufted titmice, brown-headed nuthatch and pileated woodpecker.
Nature & Wildlife
As well as the birds, the park accommodates a diverse population of native flora and fauna species.
One of the first things you will notice is the gorgeous wildflowers that reside throughout it. This includes the likes of wild azalea, elephant’s foot, St. John’s Wort and Indian.
When they are in season, wax myrtle, red maple and flowering dogwood add brilliant color to the forest.
Throughout your time at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park you should see a variety of wildlife like deer, wild turkey, squirrel and eastern cottontail rabbit.
You may also see both red and grey foxes, bobcats, butterflies, dragonflies, tree snails and raccoons as well. Not to mention the odd snake or two.
Rules at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
The park considers itself to be pet-friendly, although some conditions as to the presence of dogs within it do apply.
For instance, pets must be kept at all times on a handheld leash that is no more than six feet in length. They must also be well behaved and cleaned up afterwards.
For further information about what other restrictions are imposed it would be worthwhile contacting the park’s head office.
During your time at the park, drinking alcohol, letting off fireworks and hunting are all strictly prohibited.
Camping at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
There is no camping available at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park. However within the Florida Panhandle there are several campgrounds you can choose to stay at.
Depending on where you stay the accommodation options vary. But they may include everything from RV and trailer sites that have full hookups for electric, sewage and water to primitive tent sites that are suitable for self-sufficient campers.
They also have cabins, lodges, group camping and youth camping sites you can choose to stay at as well.
Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park
4500 Sunray Rd S,
Tallahassee FL 32309
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park: