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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society to offer a Calusa Walk March 9

By Staff | Feb 10, 2024


The Southwest Florida Archaeological Society is offering a Calusa Walk on March 9 in Bonita Springs as part of Florida’s Archaeology Month and Calusa Coast 2024 events.

Discussions feature Southwest Florida’s Native American history dating back more than 8,000 years and first European contacts in our state. Learn about the archaeology of the first people to live in Bonita Springs. Hear stories of the mighty Calusa, who ruled all of Southwest Florida, including their contact with the Spanish starting in 1513. Learn about the Calusa’s capital on Mound Key in Estero Bay, Ponce De Leon, Pedro Menendez and Fort San Anton de Carlos in 1566. Learn about the end of the Calusa Empire and the origins of the Seminoles and Miccosukee.

See demonstrations of the technology the Calusa used to prosper: the atlatl, shell tool making, weaving, ceramics, and more. Walk through Depot Park over the Imperial River to Island Park and learn about our local environment and uses of native plants.

Afterwards, enjoy a picnic lunch or eat at one of the nearby restaurants (lunch not included). Also on March 9 in Riverside Park, there is the free Bonita Fest by the GOATs of Bonita from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may stay and enjoy the food, music and vendors. More information at goatsofbonita.com.

The tour cost per person is $20 with advance reservation, or $25 the day of. The tour is guided by Arron Thomas of Calusa Ghost Tours and Charlie Strader of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society.

Total walk distance is about 1 mile and tour duration of two hours. Meet on March 9 before 10 a.m. at the Liles Hotel in Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. Email info@goexploring.com, or call/ text 239-992-6133, to reserve and receive participant notes and details.