Effigy Mounds National Monument

  • Field at Effigy Mounds National Monument



Effigy Mounds Information

The secretive mounds culture of the Eastern Woodland people is one of the many mysteries of the national parks.

An Effigy Mound American Indian culture developed over 1,000 years ago placing thousands of earthen mounds across the landscape of what (today) includes parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.

The monument contains nationally significant archeological resources including (original) surviving examples of earthen American Indian mound groups that provide an insight into the social, ceremonial, political, and economic life of the Eastern Woodland people. Two hundred and six pre-European contact mounds are preserved here—of which 31 are effigies in the shape of bears and birds. Natural features in the monument include forests, tallgrass prairies, wetlands, and rivers. As a sacred site to the modern descendants of the moundbuilders, park access is offered via fourteen miles of hiking trails.

Eastern Woodland Indians built mounds from about 500 BC until the early European contact period. A unique Effigy Mound culture developed in this area of the Upper Midwest placing thousands of mounds in the shape of animals across the landscape. Others are conical, linear, or compound shapes; many of the conical are burial mounds. Some effigy mound groups were built to a monumental scale; the Marching Bear Group, containing 10 bear and three bird effigies, stretches nearly one quarter mile along a bluff top overlooking the Upper Mississippi River.


Making an Impact

Visiting Effigy Mounds

Map of the Park

Effigy Mounds National Monument
151 Highway 76
Harpers Ferry , IA

Parks Near Effigy Mounds National Monument

Herbert Hoover birthplace home
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, birthplace of former President Herbert Hoover, sparked his commitment to public service through humanity and generosity.
Image of Mississippi River water reflection with yellow trees
The Mississippi River is an iconic river recognized as an individual national park site that relies on conservation donations from national park supporters.
Saint Croix river flows alongside grass and trees
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, formed by the St. Croix and Namekagon, offers clean water for paddle boating and fishing.
indiana dunes beach sand
At the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, visitors can explore 15,000 acres of natural terrain including hiking through forests.
From the Blog
Support Our Parks
The protection of our national parks is a job we can all do. Our parks need the support of people like you who love and visit them.