Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

Salt Marsh

Salt Marsh

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The Lower Suwannee Nat.’l Wildlife Refuge encompasses the lower 20 miles of the Suwannee River and fronts 26 miles of the Gulf of Mexico. We visited only the southwest portion of the refuge. We particularly wanted to see Shell Mound.

Beginning of Shell Mound trail

Beginning of Shell Mound Trail

Shell Mound is a great archaeological find. It is the largest remaining shell mound on the Central Gulf Coast. The mound covers 5 acres of land and rises 28′ above sea level. Estimated to be nearly 6000 years old. (2500 B.C.-A.D. 1000) It was built up over thousands of years by ancient cultures with the remains of countless meals of oysters, whelks, fish, turtle and deer bones along with household debris.

IMG_1088  Cut away section of mound. Notice the layers.  IMG_1089

Looking over marsh from atop Shell Mound

Looking over marsh from atop Shell Mound

We had intended to hike more than just Shell Mound but to our dismay we discovered it was Family Hunt season. Having seen hunters in the vicinity and not having our orange vests with us, we felt it would be prudent to forgo our trek into the forests and swamps. However we did take the Lower Suwannee Nature Drive. Much of this drive is through swamp. We kept our eyes open for alligators but didn’t see any.

Lower Suwannee River Nature Drive

Lower Suwannee River Nature Drive

Swamps on either side.

Swamps on either side.

Cypress trees. Cypress knees.

Cypress trees. Cypress knees.

This scenery is vastly different from the Upper Michigan two-tracks we are used to exploring. We find this habitat intriguing to us for that very reason. We do  so enjoy seeking out new vistas.

Trail to river.

Trail to river.

Suwannee River  Lower Suwannee  Lower Suwannee

Here’s lookin’ at you kid………………

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

  1. I’m adding this wildlife refuge to my list! That is very interesting about Shell Mound. The marshes are beautiful! Is that last picture a mushroom? It’s weird looking!

    Merry Christmas Gayle and Don!

    • Merry Christmas Gay,
      It’s not a mushroom. Not sure whether or not it’s a tree root or what’s left of a stump but it caught my eye. Hope you, Joe & the fur kids have the happiest new year ever!

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