Since I couldn't find a mound in my backyard, I thought it would be neat to see a larger, possibly animal-shaped mound. Last week we went on a camping trip to Wisconsin, and I finally got the chance to see some real Indian mounds. We went to two mound locations in Madison. One group of mounds was at Governor Nelson State Park, and the other was in Forest Hill Cemetery.
I enjoyed seeing mounds at the cemetery. There was no admission fee and the mounds were easy to locate. We saw a (headless) goose mound, some linear mounds and also two panther mounds. The grass was clipped short, and obviously there were no grave markers on the mounds, so their outlines were easy to make out. We were able to walk on top of the mounds and take pictures as well.
I also chose to go to the state park because I read that it held conical mounds, in addition to a panther mound and possibly a linear mound. We paid $5 for a one-hour pass, in order to walk the 1-mile trail. The timing was just about perfect. The park did have some interesting features, such as the area of bur oak savanna that was being restored, but we came to see Indian mounds, and those were a disappointment. The entire trail was in the woods, so as you can imagine there was underbrush, bushes, and trees all over the place. The conical mounds were easy to find, but they were smaller than I thought. Plus they were covered in brush and weeds, so they were obscured. The panther mound was also obscured because of the forest. The only part that we could see from the trail was the tail end. The sign in front of where we were standing instructed us to respect this priceless piece of history and please not walk on it.
Tips for Mound-Hunters
I look forward to seeing more mounds in future travels, and I would recommend them to anyone who takes an interest in American history. Here is a Google map of many popular mounds in North America. If you are going to visit some mounds, I would recommend seeing some that are mowed or otherwise easily visible. No wooded areas. Another idea would be to see them in the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees or weeds growing. Also, there is really no reason to pay admission fees, because there are many wonderful mounds that you can see for free, such as the ones we found at the cemetery.
Have you ever seen Indian mounds? What did you think?