Effigy Mounds National Monument

Quick Facts

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Iowa

(563) 873-3491

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Prehistoric mounds are common from the plains of the Midwest to the Atlantic seaboard, but only in this general area was there a culture that regularly constructed mounds in the shape of mammals, birds, or reptiles. The monument contains 2,526 acres with 195 mounds of which 31 are effigies. The others are conical, linear and compound. Eastern Woodland Indians built mounds from about 500 BC until the early European contact period. Natural features in the monument include forests, tallgrass prairies, wetlands and rivers. The visitor center, located at the park entrance, contains museum exhibits highlighting archaeological and natural specimens, an auditorium and book sales outlet. The park has eleven miles of hiking trails. No roads exist in the park. Rangers give guided hikes and prehistoric tool demonstrations, June 11 through Labor Day weekend. Educational programs are presented on- and off-site by appointment. There are no lodging or camping facilities in the park. Nearest camping is at Pikes Peak State Park and Yellow River State Forest in Iowa and Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin. Various primitive campgrounds exist in the area as well.

Map of Effigy Mounds

Latitude, Longitude: 43.086757, -91.190504

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Activities

  • Hiking

    Non-mobility impaired access to the Monument's resources is limited to hiking, snow shoeing or skiing along designated trails due to the sacred nature of the site. The Monument offers wonderful opportunities to view magnificent vistas, diverse wildlife, plants and trees (including 81.5 acres of prairie), and hundreds of ancient Indian cultural mound features. Visitor center hours vary seasonally, however, park grounds are open sunrise to sunset, year round. Use the links at the top of this page to find detailed information on operating hours, touring options and ranger-led programs or park sponsored special educational public events.

    A complete visit to the 2,526 acre Effigy Mounds National Monument can take up to several days of hiking along trails. To preserve the mounds and respect the sacred nature of the site, automobile tour routes are not available. Persons of all walking and hiking abilities are encouraged to visit the monument, however, there are distinct limitations for those with mobility impairments.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is permitted in the park.

  • Winter Sports

    Non-mobility impaired access to the Monument's resources is limited to hiking, snow shoeing or skiing along designated trails due to the sacred nature of the site.

Directions

Driving

Plane - Regional airports in La Crosse (70 miles) and Madison (120 miles), WI; and Dubuque (70 miles) and Cedar Rapids (120 miles), IA


Car - Three miles north of Marquette, IA or seventeen miles south of Waukon, IA on state highway 76. Also six miles across Mississippi River from Prairie du Chien, WI


Public Transportation - none

Phone Numbers

Primary

(563) 873-3491

Links