ADMISSION & HOURS
Open daily for self-guided visits from sunrise to sunset
Requested donations; $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children.
Classroom and Gift Shop
(open weather permitting)
October 1st – May 31st
Monday - Saturday, 10am to 4pm
June 1st – September 30th
Tuesday - Saturday from 10am to 2pm
The Randell Research Center (RRC) is a permanent facility dedicated to learning and teaching the archaeology, history, and ecology of Southwest Florida. The Calusa Heritage Trail is a one mile interpretive walkway that leads visitors through the mounds, canals, and other features of the Pineland archaeological site.
The Pineland site complex is located in coastal Lee County, northwest of Fort Myers. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated County Historical Resource.
The Calusa were once the most powerful people in all of South Florida. For many centuries they accumulated huge shell mounds, engineered canals, and sustained tens of thousands of people from the fish and shellfish found in the rich estuaries west and south of Fort Myers. All that is left of their culture today is a dwindling number of shell mound sites dotting the estuarine landscape between Charlotte Harbor and the Ten Thousand Islands region of the Everglades.
On the Calusa Heritage Trail, visitors can tour an internationally significant site and learn about Calusa culture and their environment. 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 benches and a boardwalk and bridge over low-lying areas.
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. In 2001, the Friends of the Randell Research Center was created as a giving society to support the programs and activities of the RRC through its endowment and operating funds. The Friends organization provides an important component of the financial stability of the Randell Research Center.
page information credit: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/rrc/home/
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors