Protected since 1948 as Florida’s first state archaeological site, the centerpiece of Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site in Terra Ceia is its 20-foot-tall prehistoric temple mound.
It was purchased and preserved by Karl and Madira Bickel, who turned the complex over to the state for caretaking.
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Location: Terra Ceia
Address: 955 Bayshore Dr, Terra Ceia FL 34250
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM to sunset. Picnic tables provided.
From US 19 south of Interstate 275, turn right on Bayshore Drive. Continue east 1.5 miles to the pulloff on the left.
A short trail leads 20 feet uphill to the crest of the mound for a scenic view from the flat top of an ancient temple.
Gumbo limbo trees and tropical plants top the mound, and are as far north in their range as they naturally go.
Artifacts from Paleoindian, Weedon Island, and Safety Harbor cultures have been unearthed on the site.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Where the Manatee River meets the Gulf of Mexico near Bradenton, Emerson Point Preserve protects the Portavent Mound, one of Florida’s most ancient temple mounds