Cedar Key’s Shell Mound, a “Sea Kayaker’s Playground”


While the town of Cedar Key is 24-miles off the beaten path, at the western (Gulf) end of SR24, Shell Mound is a bit farther!

“The Shell Mound Unit of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. This unique feature was created by archaic period Eastern Woodland Indian cultures by discarding oyster and clam shells they used as a food source. The area was inhabited by this culture for at least 1,000 years from about 450 to 1,800 years ago. Once used as a source of materials for road construction (prior to Refuge ownership) the mound is now protected from all but foot traffic, attracting about 60,000 visitors per year, yet it never seems like anyone else is there.”*

The mound can be found down the winding road that leads to the shallow boat launch.
Shell Mound can be found down the winding road that leads to the shallow boat launch.

*This is a sea kayakers playground, a shallow ocean area often only inches deep over hidden oyster bars, located among barrier islands and thick with wildlife. For inexperienced sea kayakers, these serene waters are a safe, accessible place to get comfortable with ocean kayaking without the interference of constant motor boat traffic. Experienced kayakers will love the area for its tranquil beauty or as a jump off point for greater adventures.”*




If you plan to paddle the area, consider downloading the very informative PDF sheet on Shell Mound, prepared by The Friends of the Lower Suwannee.  It’s a big file, but worth the effort.

Shell Mound is about 7 miles from downtown Cedar Key, where you’ll find excellent food and lodging. Shell Mound RV Park is also an option for trailer and tent campers.

*Source:  seenorthflorida.com

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