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Serpent Mound

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Historical Day Trips

Explore American Indian History in Southern Ohio at These Historical Outdoor Landmarks

Southern Ohio is overflowing with historical landmarks showcasing the rich history of American Indians. While many indoor attractions are still closed in our state, these remarkable sites provide the perfect opportunity to explore some of the nearby outdoor monuments. These places also provide numerous educational opportunities to learn more about the indigenous people that lived in Southern Ohio thousands of years ago.

Serpent Mound

Just a short 90-minute drive to our southeast in Peebles lies an internationally recognized National Historic Landmark built by ancient American Indian cultures in Ohio. Serpent Mound is the largest surviving prehistoric effigy mound in the world. An effigy mound is a raised pile of earth built in the shape of an animal, symbol, human or other figure and typically contains one or more human burials. 

Stretching 1,348 feet long, the impressively preserved ancient earthwork depicts a slithering serpent, with an intricate coiled tail. This monument is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,000 years old.

In addition to the Serpent Mound, the park maintains three additional burial mounds from the Adena and Fort Ancient Cultures, walking trails and ancient village sites. Admission is $8 per vehicle 

3850 State Route 73, Peebles, OH 45660, 800.752.2757

Miamisburg Mound

If you journey a half-hour north to Miamisburg, you’ll find one of the two largest conical mounds in eastern North America. The Miamisburg Mound, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built by the Adena Culture somewhere between 800 B.C. to 100 A.D. 

Standing an impressive 65 feet tall on a ridge above the Great Miami River, the Miamisburg Mound is 800 feet in circumference and contains 54,000 cubic yards of earth. 

Steps have been built to the top observation platform, where visitors can enjoy an expansive view of the surrounding area. An average visit is about 30 minutes, so pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a quick trip. Admission to the Miamisburg Mound is free.

900 Mound Rd. Miamisburg, OH 45342, 866.580.6508

Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve 

Thirty-five minutes northeast of town, you’ll discover Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve. Settled 245 feet above the Little Miami River, this is the largest and best-preserved prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the United States. Fort Ancient is a 2,000-year-old monument on the National Register of Historic Places and commemorates sacred aspects of American Indian culture.

Outdoor activities include 2.5 miles of walking trails where visitors can marvel at the ancient Hopewell engineering expertise that built the various earthworks throughout the area. These include the fort walls, mounds, limestone circles and more. There are also two scenic overlooks with stunning views.  

The Museum at Fort Ancient allows visitors to learn about Ohio’s past by exploring over 12,000 years of history. As of press time, a date for reopening the museum has not been set. Just outside the Museum is a seasonal outdoor garden that depicts crops grown 2,000 and 1,000 years ago. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Children under 6 can enter free.

6123 State Route 350 Oregonia, OH 45054, 513.932.4421

These are just a few of the many historic sites to visit in Ohio. To learn more or plan your trip visit Please check to ensure the site is open before visiting.

  • Serpent Mound
  • Serpent Mound
  • View from the Fort Ancient North Overlook
  • Fort Ancient Mound
  • Fort Ancient Garden
  • Miamisburg Mound