Effigy Mounds National Monument | VISITOR CENTER

Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

OPERATING HOURS

The Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center is open year-round from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. The facility is only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, or in cases of extremely bad weather. Keep in mind that times can always change, so be sure to get the current schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the park.

AMENITIES

  • Ranger-staffed information desk where you can ask questions and pick up a park brochure
  • Museum
  • Meeting place for Ranger-guided tours
  • Book and souvenir store
  • Restrooms
  • North Unit trailhead is just outside near the parking lot
Inside the Visitor Center at Effigy Mounds National Monument

Inside the Visitor Center at Effigy Mounds National Monument

PARK FILM

As of my visit, there is no official park film at Effigy Mounds National Monument. Instead, there is a selection of films on various topics that you can watch in a conference room on a TV. The room was being used for a staff meeting when I was there, so I did not see any of the films.

MUSEUM

Museum inside the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

Museum inside the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

The museum at Effigy Mounds National Monument is quite small and offers very little information on the history of the mounds or the people who built them. There is better information on the park brochure. The museum is mainly a collection of spear points and pottery shards, but many of the items are modern replicas (particularly the spear points). Either the originals are deemed to valuable to put on display (doubtful since similar park museums like the one at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Ohio have plenty of originals) or Effigy Mounds National Monument is at the bottom of the list of parks in line to get original artifacts.

Spear point replicas on display in the Visitor Center museum at Effigy Mounds National Monument

Spear point replicas on display in the Visitor Center museum at Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds pottery on display in the Visitor Center museum at Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds pottery on display in the Visitor Center museum at Effigy Mounds National Monument

One of the larger exhibits in the museum deals with the relationship between the Indians of the Upper Mississippi River region and the European traders that moved into the area starting with the French in the mid-1600s. There is also information on the archeological excavations of the mounds that were done in the 1950s and 60s.

Exhibit on early Indian-European relations at the museum inside the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

Exhibit on early Indian-European relations at the museum inside the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

For those who want to read all the information in the museum, plan to spend 20 minutes on that task. For all others, 10 minutes should be enough time to see the artifacts on display. Since I have no information about the park films, I cannot say anything other than typical such films run 20 minutes. Using that time, plan to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour at the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center, depending on your interest in the subject matter.

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Last updated on May 29, 2024
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