Indian Shell Mound Park, also known as Shell Mound Park or Indian Mound Park is located on the northern shore of Dauphin Island near the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Marine Resources Division office. The 11 acres of subtropical natural wonder represents a botanical treasure trove found on no other Gulf barrier island. The park was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The Shell Mounds and Dauphin Island in general are renowned hot-spots for observing neotropical migrant birds, and attract birders from around the U.S. each spring and fall. Dauphin Island is the first point of land encountered by migrants during their spring migration across the Gulf of Mexico. The entire Island is a bird sanctuary. A self-guided tour through Shell Mound Park should be included in any visit to the area. It is one of the stops on the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail.
The shell middens located at Indian Mound Park date to the Mississippian period (1100 to 1550). They were visited for centuries by Indians who roasted oysters and fished in the Little Dauphin Island Sound.
Giant moss-draped live oaks are abundant throughout the park. Several plant species occurring here are representatives of families found as far inland as the Appalachian Mountains and from as far south as Yucatan state, Mexico. Many were probably transported here by Indian groups hundreds of years ago for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Read more about the history of Shell Mound Park