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Shell Mound Trail at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling NWR reopens

By Staff | Dec 20, 2010

An early Calusa rendering that will be part of an exhibit on the trail next year.

On Dec. 16, staff at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge announced the reopening of the Shell Mound Trail following the completion of the exotic plant removal.

This project prepared the area for the opening of new interpretative signage on the Calusa people that once inhabited this area. The new signage will teach visitors about the ancient Native Americans, as well as the unique hammock environment while reading the interpretive panels.

This project will debut on Feb. 17, 2011 and is funded by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.

The Shell Mound Trial is a quarter-mile-long, universally accessible, interpretive boardwalk that originates near the end of Wildlife Drive. The trail meanders through a hardwood hammock that has grown on top of ancient Calusa shell mounds. This is also an excellent place to spot warblers and other migratory songbirds during the spring and fall migrations.

The refuge invites families to come back to the refuge and take a hike on this historic trail and return again in February for the new signage.