- Effigy Mounds National Monument
"Other sites in the U.S. of similar history may be found at
Indian Mounds Park"Infobox Protected area
name = Effigy Mounds National Monument
iucn_category = V
locator_x = 164
locator_y = 58
location = Northeast
lat_degrees = 43
lat_minutes = 5
lat_seconds = 19
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 91
long_minutes = 11
long_seconds = 8
long_direction = W
area = 2,526.39 acres (10.22 km²)
October 25, 1949
visitation_num = 88,546
visitation_year = 2005
National Park Service
Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves three prehistoric sites in Allamakee County and
Clayton County, Iowain the midwestern United States. The North Unit (67 mounds) and South Unit (29 mounds) are located where the counties meet along the Mississippi River. They are contiguous and easily accessible. The Sny Magill Unit (112 mounds) is approximately 11 miles (17 km) south of the other units, and offers no visitor facilities. [cite web| url=http://www.nps.gov/efmo/web/hrs/hrsaa.htm| title=Effigy Mounds NM Historic Resource Study: Appendix A| author=National Park Service| accessmonthday=May 15 | accessyear=2006| ] It forms the heart of a cluster of interrelated protected areas. It is adjacent to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge, the Yellow River State Forest, and a short distance to the south, Pikes Peak State Park. There are also a number of state-owned wildlife management areas, such as the one at Sny Magill Creek, where Clayton County also maintains a county park.
The Monument is also noted for being in the
Driftless Area, an area of North America which escaped glaciation during the last ice age. The Park Service writes that
patchy remnants of Pre-Illinoian glacialThe adjacent National Wildlife Refuge takes its name from this region.
driftmore than 500,000 years old recently have been discovered in the area. Unlike the rest of Iowa, the Paleozoic Plateau was bypassed by the last of the Pleistoceneglaciers (the Wisconsin), allowing the region's fast cutting streams to expose and carve out deep channels in the bedrock-dominated terrain. The area is characterized by thin loesssoil cover, isolated patches of glacial drift, deeply entrenched river valleys, and karst( sinkholes, caves, and springs) topography. [ [http://www.nps.gov/archive/efmo/web/hrs/hrs3.htm "Effigy Mounds Historic Resource Study", Chapter 3, Environment] , National Park Service, Retrieved July 10, 2007]
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 (10 km²) with 206 mounds of which 31 are effigies. The others are conical, linear and compound. Woodland periodIndians built mounds from about 500 BC until the early European contact period. When the American prairies were plowed under by European settlers for agriculture, many mound sites were lost. Effigy Mounds National Monument is the largest known collection of mounds in the United States.
Examining the geography of the region reveals why human cultures have occupied this part of the country for so long. Historically, most of the
Great Plainsto the west of the Mississippi Riverwas covered in grasslands, which are very prone to fires that keep trees from becoming established. Here in extreme northeastern Iowa, the Effigy Mounds area was a point of transition between the eastern hardwood forests and the central prairies. Native American and early settlers would have been able to draw on natural resources available in forests, wetlands, and prairies, making the site hospitable for humans for many centuries.
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, mid June through Labor Day weekend. Educational programs are presented on- and off-site by appointment.
Natural features in the monument include forests,
tallgrass prairies, wetlands and rivers. There are no lodging or camping facilities in the park. Excellent camping is available at nearby Pikes Peak State Parkand Yellow River State Forestin Iowa; there is also Wyalusing State Parkin Wisconsin. Various primitive campgrounds exist in the area as well. The national monument is quite close to the town of Marquette, Iowa, and is just across the Mississippi River from the city of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where ample motel and gambling-boat facilities exist.
It was proclaimed a National Monument on
October 25, 1949. As a historic unit under the National Park Service, the National Monument was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Placeson October 15, 1966.
*cite web | url=http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17030 | title=Effigy Mounds National Monument | publisher=
NASA Earth Observatory| accessdate=2006-05-05
* "The National Parks: Index 2001–2003". Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior.
* Official NPS website: [http://www.nps.gov/efmo/ Effigy Mounds National Monument]
Sny Magill CreekUnit coordinates: coord|42|56|26|N|91|10|0|W|type:landmark
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