Letchworth-Love Mounds Nature Trail

Letchworth-Love Mounds

Letchworth-Love Mounds

At Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park you can walk around the base of the tallest and most complex ceremonial mound in Florida. There are four mounds in the complex, with the tallest 46 feet high. The mounds are from the Woodland Period circa A.D. 500. The site was first mentioned in 1939 in the article “Spanish Mission Sites in Florida” by historian Mark F. Boyd as the “Miccosukee Mound,” since Lake Miccosukee is nearby.

The first archeological surveys of the site were done in 1998 and 2001 before park facilities were constructed. The lack of artifacts on Mound 1 led archeologists to propose that it was a plaza or temple complex. It contains the equivalent of 5.5 million five-gallon buckets of dirt, and was built entirely by hand by peoples of the Weedon Island culture. There is a ramp on the north side and platforms on the east and west sides.

Resources

Florida State ParksFlorida State Parks

Overview

Location: Monticello
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Long: 30.520600, -83.991400
Type: round-trip, paved and boardwalk
Fees / Permits: none
Good for: archeology, wheelchairs
Difficulty: Easy
Bug factor: Low
Restroom: Yes

There is a privy on site and picnic tables.
Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park website

Directions

Follow US 90 west from Monticello. Look for signs on the left. Turn left on Sunray Road and follow the road to the park entrance.

Hike

The Letchworth Mound Trail is a short paved interpretive trail – about a 0.3 mile round-trip – out and back through the mound complex from the parking area. Mound 1 is the whopping big mound that the trail circles, with an observation platform at the far end. It is a sacred place and should not be climbed. Mound 2 is off the trail out of sight and is 66’x82’ and 3’ high. Mound 3 is a conical shape, about 33’ in diameter, and is less than 3’ tall. It’s just north of Mound 1. Mound 4 is about the same size and shape and is just past the observation deck.

 

Comments

  1. Dallas Garrett says

    I visited small and large mounds near Mexico City 50 years ago and most of the mounds looked like these mounds. I went back a few years ago and many of the mounds have been cleaned off back to the original shape and size with definite steps and platforms. Is there a plan to clean off the mounds to see if they will show the original shape with steps, etc.? Some of the mounds in Mexico were also covered with trees as these mounds are and they had been removed. This coudl be an incredible tourist site. My great grandmother was Cherokee and I have always heard stories about my grandfather moving graves back from the edge of the creek in Indiana to keep the Indians from being swept downstream. I found hundreds of arrowheads, knives and spear heads in the stream as a child. .

    • Sandra Friend says

      That’s very cool. I don’t know of any definite plans in the near future, but the Florida Park Service tends to do long-range planning for all of the parks and those plans are public documents. You might be able to request the plan from their Tallahassee office to find out. Thanks for the details!

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