Trekking to the Top of Turtle Mound in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Turtle Mound is not a natural feature. The site was constructed over a period of years by the indigenous people of the area dumping oyster shells in one location. Today the mound rises to about 50' high. The surrounding palmetto scrub, prickly pear cacti, stinking skunk cabbage, non-native papaya trees, wild orange trees and other indigenous plants make a formidable barrier of vegetation across the mound. It's hard to imagine how the native Timucuan people were able to hunt and gather in such hostile surroundings. Intrepid explorers today have easy access to the top by way of an elevated wooden boardwalk. On a sunny day, the mound offers views of the circling turkey vultures above, Mosquito Lagoon to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Canaveral Seashore Park to the south and the encroaching condominiums from New Smyrna Beach to the north.