You Get The Best View Of The Ocean On This 50-Foot Oyster Shell Mound In Florida
What the shell?
There are many rooftops and areas where you can overlook the Atlantic Ocean in Florida but there is a secluded area that allows you to view it from a different angle. Turtle Mound is the largest shell midden in the United States built by the Timucuan people.
This prehistoric place features a 35 feet high mount containing 33,000 cubic yards of oyster shell on two acres. It has layers and layers of shells piled up with other things such as discarded bones, broken pottery and other debris.
This mound served as a navigational landmark and some people believed the mound was shaped as a turtle which led to the name "Turtle Mound". The mound was about 50 feet high but due to natural processes, it has decreased in height over the years.
Most of Florida is flat and this mound was used to see from afar. Mariners were able to see the mound from miles offshore but now the area is covered in lush vegetation. This place remains as a look-out post preserved by park rangers and archeologists.
Visitors can explore the area and can be reached by hiking trails which lead to the top of the shell midden. This is one of the highest points in Florida and it offers a great view of the ocean.
The 0.4-mile boardwalk trail takes about fifteen minutes to hike and it leads all the way to the observation deck. Despite the lack of visibility from the shell midden, you will notice it if you look down.
Since this place is registered as a historic site, it is important that visitors are respectful of the environment.
Address: 7611 South Atlantic Avenue New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168.
Why you need to go: it's one of the highest points in Florida and it's historic.