CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Kayaking, paddle boarding and zipping through crystal clear waters is what Crystal River is best known for, but it's back on dry land where you'll find something more historic.

  • Crystal River Archeological State Park dates to 500 BC
  • Indian burial mounds can be viewed from park
  • Park is open 5 days a week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

''Some of the stuff you can see and experience here, you won't see anywhere else in the southeast United States," Park Ranger Phil McCord says.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park, now a beautiful spot to hike around, dates to 500 B.C. and was inhabited by tribes until about 100 A.D.

Now, we're preserving their history -- everything from artifacts recovered from the site, such as shells, tools, and pots, to the Indian mounds and burial mounds that still sit on the state park property.

The park is shaded from the sun by large old Florida trees, providing some relief from the summer heat. You can also take in beautiful views high atop the Indian mounds that sit 30 feet off the ground.

Experienced and informative park rangers give you a glimpse into what life would have been like for those who lived here long ago.

''We get to interpret this site, and we have the privilege to tell the stories of those who can't tell their stories anymore," McCord said.

It's a day trip into the centuries-old history of Crystal River that will leave you exploring the mysteries and artifacts of the tribes that once lived there.

''You can come here, catch your breath, relax a little enjoy the real Florida and see some incredible history at the same time," McCord said.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park is open five days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

For more information, head to the website.