The Calusa Heritage Trail is the publicly accessible walking trail at the Randell Research Center.  A limited portion (1000 feet) of the the Calusa Heritage Trail is open daily for self-guided visits from sunrise to sunset.   We are still cleaning up the site from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian.  Access to the tops of the mounds and the foot bridge are prohibited at this time.  Please follow on-site signage and stay on marked paths.  Thank you!

Museum-quality interpretive signs along the trail provide visitors with detailed information regarding the Calusa people who inhabited the Pineland site, their culture and environment, and the history of southwest Florida after the Calusa left.  The trail also features observation platforms atop the site’s tallest shell mound, in addition to trail-side benches and a boardwalk and bridge over low-lying areas.

Parking is available inside the main gate to the Randell Research Center at 13810 Waterfront Drive.  Public restrooms and picnic facilities are also provided. Dogs are permitted provided they are on leash at all times, well behaved, and all waste is bagged and disposed of properly.

The Calusa Heritage Trail was sponsored by Dwight and Susan Sipprelle and funded in part by a Special Category Grant from the Florida Department of State, Office of Cultural and Historical Programs, Division of Historical Resources, and through in-kind services and the efforts of many volunteers.

Guided ToursTour schedule Winter 2023

Our guided tours are led by highly trained docents and are a great way to learn about the Calusa!  We don’t require reservations; we ask that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the tour.  These walking tours allow you to journey into the past at a place where archaeology, history, and ecology meet and learn about the fascinating Calusa people and how they thrived in Pineland for thousands of years.

We are happy to provide guided tours at 10am (arrive by 9:50am) from Monday through Saturday from January to April 2023.  Our afternoon tours start at 1pm ( arrive by 12:50pm) and are offered Monday through Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday through April 2023. 

Guided tours are also available by special request for groups with over 6 people, dependent on guide availability. To request a guided tour, please call  239-283-2157 at least 2 weeks before your desired tour date.

Requested donations for visitors to the Calusa Heritage Trail are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children. Members of the Friends of the RRC and dogs on leash are admitted free. Income from donations and memberships makes it possible to maintain this important archaeological site.

Interpretive sign at foot of Smith Mound, Calusa Heritage Trail. (Photo by W. Marquardt.)