Visitors to the Randell Research Center can tour the Calusa Heritage Trail, an almost 1-mile interpretive walkway that leads visitors through the mounds, canals, and other features of the Pineland archaeological site.

The Randell Research Center is OPEN to the public! For more information on our new safety procedures and visitor protocols, visit our Safety Guidelines page.

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.

Museum-quality interpretive signs along the Trail provide visitors with detailed information regarding the Calusa Indians 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.

Guided Tours

Guided walking tours of the Calusa Heritage Trail for the 2021/2022 season (Dec. 7, 2021 – March 31, 2022) are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and 10 a.m. ONLY on Wednesdays. We will not be offering tours on Dec. 25.

These 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.

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 are admitted free. Income from donations and memberships makes it possible to maintain this important archaeological site.

sign-14-Smith
Interpretive sign at foot of Smith Mound, Calusa Heritage Trail. (Photo by W. Marquardt.)