Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Webpage: Florida State Park
Description: The earthen Indian mounds at Letchworth-Love Archaeological State Park are from the early to middle Weeden Island cultures and were members of the late Swift Creek tribe from around 200-450 A.D. The site functioned as an important civil and ceremonial center for the greater Southeast. The ceremonial mound is 46 feet tall, the largest in Florida, forms the centerpiece of the park. The apparent platform on the southeast side and a visible ramp are highlighted in an interpretative panel at the mound. It is part of a complex of 20-28 smaller mounds, some of which are visible along the Weeden Trail, an interpretive trail that winds around the base of the ceremonial mound. The park has an interactive pavilion that provides the history and details about the archeological work at the site.
1) I was impressed with the preservation of the mound, as well as the size. The southeast platform and ramp are obvious once they are pointed out. The smaller mounds mentioned in the brochure were a disappointment as they are no more than a few feet high and probably were important to keeping a sleeping or storage structure dry during heavy rains or minor floods. I would not have noticed them if they were not pointed out by the interpretative signs.
2) The pavilion was a surprise, as you don’t normally see an interactive exhibit in an outdoor pavilion. The information at the kiosk was interesting but listening to a recording that is no more than a recitation of the written explanation was unnecessary.
3) The interpretive hike is less than a mile through the woods and has very little change in elevation. All together it took only about an hour to visit the park, but I like looking at and thinking about ancient structures such as Indian mounds.