The Crystal River Archeological State Park evidences the efforts of Native Americans who lived here in the 16th century. The area, however, was actually settled more than 2,500 years ago, a time when the river system had matured enough to support a sedentary population.
The 61 acre site consists of a half-dozen mounds and a vista of open ground looking out to the River. The largest mound, with a platform on its top, is a temple. The others are burial mounds. Also at the site is a midden, or dumping area for remnants of living – perhaps our equivalent of a garbage dump. An unexpected addition are two steles, or limestone slabs. One clearly depicts a face, while the other appears to be undecipherable. The site, an exceptionally calm place to walk and reflect, also included an artifact-laden visitors center. It’s a worthwhile stop.