The First 12,000 Years: Native American Life and Culture

Distance: 116 miles
Driving Time: 2 hours, 44 minutes

What to expect: You should figure on spending several hours on the walking and hiking trails at Sams House and at the Indian Mound Station Sanctuary, and at least 90 minutes in the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. Accordingly, you may want to plan a full day for this tour.

Restrooms and other visitor facilities are noted in the brief descriptions below.

This tour will follow the traces of Native American life and culture in the Indian River region, beginning with the arrival of the first inhabitants during the Ice Age and continuing through subsequent centuries—up to and after the arrival of European explorers and American settlers.

Many of the sites of native settlement in the Titusville area are no longer visible due to the thick vegetation and changing water levels in the St. Johns River watershed and gradual destruction of many burial mounds and shell middens. Yet this tour highlights some of the most important and accessible evidence of Native American life through the centuries between the Indian River and St. Johns River watershed.

Sams House Nature Sanctuary

This site offers 2.8 miles of hiking trails that guide visitors through palm hammock, mangrove forest, and marshlands along the Indian River. A short, accessible Discovery Loop provides a fascinating introduction to the Native American history of the…

Windover Archaeological Site

A historic marker tells the story of one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the Western Hemisphere. The marker narrates the circumstances of the excavation and its important finds, which represent one of the largest known collections…

Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science

For those interested in learning more about the fascinating finds from the Windover dig, this museum features a special exhibition “The People of Windover,” which presents many of the finds from the excavation as well as an orientation video,…

Fox Lake Park

Covering more than thirty acres of parkland, wetland, and lake, Fox Lake Park serves as a gateway to the Fox Lake Sanctuary, where a number of archaeological sites occupied at various times from the Late Archaic to the Malabar Periods (5,000-450…

Indian Mound Station Sanctuary

Entered either from Parrish Road or the south side of Holder Park, this sanctuary covers 147 acres of scrub, pine flatwoods, and forested wetlands. On the south side of Parrish Road, just to the west of the sanctuary boundary, is a prominent ancient…

Seminole Rest Historic Site

Containing a complex of shell midden mounds, the largest of which is known as Snyder’s Mound, this site is a largely intact example of a processing and disposal center for clams, oysters, and fish caught by native groups in the Indian River…

Haulover Canal

Now a popular spot for fishing and kayaking, the Haulover Canal, has long been a strategic site. Even before the present canal was dug in 1888, this spot was of great significance to the native peoples of the area. The narrowness of the spit of land…

Old Brevard County Courthouse

This tour concludes at one of the most impressive historic buildings in Titusville, renamed in 2006 as the Vassar B. Carlton Historic Titusville Courthouse. Built in 1912, it occupies the site of the first Titusville Courthouse, which was a two-story…