Frugal Family Fun: Indian Mounds

Linear Mound at Wisconsin Heights Battle Grounds

There are literally thousands of Indian mounds in southern Wisconsin. The mounds where built long ago by indigenous people in many shapes and sizes. Some are linear or look like small round hills, while others are shaped like turtles, buffalo, jaguars, and eagles. There is even a man-shaped mound! ( )

Many state, county, and city parks and historic sites in southern Wisconsin contain mounds. If you go to see one, keep in mind that they are Native American sacred places and many were burials. Don’t walk on the mounds or dig in them. Respect them as you would a grave.

When we visit mounds as a family, we usually bring a picnic lunch and dress for hiking with stout shoes; a walking stick; and depending on the time of year, a hat and/or a jacket and sun and/or bug protection.

Some mounds are near parking areas and some require a hike. Viewing mounds in city and county parks in southern Wisconsin is free. If you want to see mounds situated in state parks, you will need to buy a day pass or an annual sticker depending on your state. Be sure that you obtain permission first if you want to see a mound that is on private land.

We recently visited one set of mounds and another that are reproductions as art near the Wisconsin River. We saw linear mounds in a wooded area (where we were nearly carried off by bloodthirsty mosquitoes) near the Battle of Wisconsin Heights site. The reproduced set of mounds are located in August Derleth Park between the small cities of Prairie du Sac and Sauk City along the Wisconsin River. (This area is also known for the number of Bald Eagles that can be viewed here year round.) We had a nice walk on paved trails along the river, interspersed with prairie restorations and lovely river views.

Wisconsin River View as seen from riverside trail in August Derelith City Park, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

There are Indian Mounds in at least 34 states. Check out this website and see if there are some near you! ( )  Begonia

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