Poverty Point National Monument | HARLIN BAYOU

Stop 17 on the walking tour of Poverty Point National Monument

Stop 17 on the walking tour of Poverty Point National Monument

WALKING TOUR STOP 17

DRIVING TOUR STOP 9

Harlin Bayou

Like the Nature Watch stop on the tour of Poverty Point National Monument, the Harlin Bayou stop is pretty much a waste of time. It focuses on the Harlin Bayou, but you can’t see it because a forest stands between the bayou and the tour stop. Why have a stop if you can’t even see the topic of discussion?

Up until the 1840s, the Harlin Bayou followed a different course than it does today. Archaeologists believe that the channel it now follows was once part of a borrow ditch used to build the northern ridges at Poverty Point. The channel grew in size over the last 50 years, so much so that it posed an erosion problem. In fact, it was eroding away the north end of Ridge 6, which is where you are standing if you are doing the walking tour. In 2015, the state of Louisiana carried out a stabilization project to help correct the problem.

Those taking the driving tour of Poverty Point are at the intersection of Ridge 4 and Highway 577. The highway bridge you can see to your left spans the bayou. While those in their car are at a different location than those on foot, the tour guides provide the same information about the Harlin Bayou erosion problem.

When Highway 577 was built in the early 1900s, it cut right through the ridges on the north end of the archaeological site as well as the ridges on the south end. At the time, nobody knew the ridges existed. It wasn’t until 1953 when archaeologist James Ford studied an aerial photograph of the area that the ridges were first recognized.

Highway 577 bisects the Poverty Point ridges on the north end of the archaeological site

Highway 577 bisects the Poverty Point ridges on the north end of the archaeological site


Walking Tour Menu

Stop 18: Ridge 4 North | Stop 16: Nature Watch | Walking Tour Main Page

Driving Tour Menu

Stop 10: North Ridges | Stop 8: Northwest Ridges | Driving Tour Main Page


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Last updated on November 8, 2022
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