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Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Alto

(25+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is an archaeological site in Cherokee County, Texas used by peoples of the Caddoan Mississippian culture and is composed of a prehistoric village and ceremonial center. The site is located on the original El Camino Real de los Tejas trail, dating before European exploration. The site has two platform mounds and one burial mound. Archaeologists believe the site was founded in approximately 800, with most major construction taking place between 1100 and 1300. It is located 6mi west of Alto, Texas on Texas State Highway 21 near its intersection with U.S. Route 69 in the Piney Woods region of east Texas. Operated by the Texas Historical Commission, the museum had its grand re-opening in October 2015. The new museum offers visitors a chance to explore a replica Caddo village; all exhibits are hands-on. Visitors can walk the 0.7mi self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddo’s burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds. An additional trail along the El Camino Real is also available.DescriptionThe site began with the founding of a permanent village by the Hasinai, who moved into the region from the Red River area to the northeast, in roughly 850 to 900. The region possessed ideal qualities for the establishment of a village: good soil, abundant food resources, and a permanent water source that flowed into the Neches River. What eventually became the largest mound, Mound A, was begun at this time. It is at the southern edge of the site, and was surrounded by about 40 houses. In 1100 a new mound was begun near the center of the site, Mound B, and would eventually measure roughly 175 feet (55 meters) north-south and 115 feet (35 meters) east-west. Mound C, the northernmost mound of the three, was used as a burial mound, not for elite residences or temples like the other two. The site was the southwestern-most ceremonial mound center of all the great mound building cultures of North America.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great place for kids that like to learn about Indian History!! We recommend visiting here and using the "hands on" museum. Note: if Tony is working, play the drums and he'll play the Caddo F...  more »
  • I didn't realize this existed until the visitor center in Nacogdoches told us about it so we decided to tour it. It was such a fascinating piece of history that i didn't know about. It doesn't take to...  more »
  • Great short trip from Mission Tejas. About an hour to tour it. Great exhibits about the early Caddoans.  more »
Google
  • Great little place to stop by and learn some history. The museum part is interactive, which is fun for the kids. Plus you can borrow a golf cart to ride instead of walking the trail around the old mounds.
  • The staff inside the museum were very knowledgeable and kind. My girlfriend had a knee replacement recently and they offered us a gold cart to use at no charge. The museum had many interesting facts about the Caddo culture and was also very hands on. The trails you walk outside were very well taken care of. Highly recommend this place!
  • Really nice place to stop for some Texas history. They even allow dogs on leashes around the outside area.
  • A must visit for those who are interested in the history behind the East Texas area.
  • Interesting bit of Texas history. They are developing more outside attractions to go along with the indoor displays.