Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park, Scott

4.4
#35 of 60 in Nature in Arkansas
Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, also known as Knapp Mounds, Toltec Mounds Site or Toltec Mounds, is an archaeological site from the Late Woodland period in Arkansas that protects an 18-mound complex with the tallest surviving prehistoric mounds in Arkansas. The site is on the banks of Mound Lake, an oxbow lake of the Arkansas River. It was occupied by its original inhabitants from 600 to 1050 CE. The site is designated as a National Historic Landmark.NameThe identification of the site with the Toltec of Mexico was a 19th-century mistake. Mrs. Gilbert Knapp, owner of the land from 1857 to 1900, thought the Toltecs had built the mounds.Investigations at the site by archaeologist Edward Palmer from the Smithsonian Institutions Bureau of American Ethnology in 1883 and by others since have proved that the indigenous ancestors of regional Native Americans had built these mounds and all other mounds within the present-day United States. They were part of mound building cultures that flourished from the Late Archaic period into the Protohistoric period. They built earthwork mounds for religious, political and ceremonial purposes, connecting them to their cosmology.
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Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park Reviews
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  • This State Park has a very small museum but it was interesting learning about the Indians who used to live here. According to their display, the mounds were just used as a platform for a temple, pries...  more »
  • We had good intentions when we went to visit the Toltec Mounds. However the weather did not cooperate. In the short time that it took us to drive to the site, winds came and the temperature dropped 14...  more »
  • Despite its name, this was not settled by the Toltec Indians. This was an assumption made when the place was originally discovered by Europeans. In fact not much is known about the people who built th...  more »
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  • If you like to learn about Native American history in Arkansas this has some interesting things to see. There are only a few remaining mounds as previous farmers flattening the others for agriculture. It's a bit disappointing that there is so little known about the inhabitants or what tribe called this place home. The state has done a nice job trying to figure out who they were through excavation and historical maps. It has a nice paved walking trail that is 0.8 miles and a rustic trail that is just short of 2 miles. The trails have numbered markers and a booklet with information to read as you go. The trails pass around the plazas and there is a nice boardwalk to the oxbow lake with many Bald Cypress trees that border the site. It's free to tour the museum and self guided tour. They offer guided tours a few days a week for a fee. The staff was friendly and helpful, the facilities were clean and maintained. I'm surprised I didn't visit the site before and I plan on returning soon. Nothing flashy or digital but it's nice to take in nature and try to imagine the life these people led.
  • This has always been one of my favorite nature spots in central Arkansas. If you go during summer, go early to beat the heat. And take some bug repellent. During cooler seasons, it's a great place to take a nice walk and bring along a picnic. There's a shaded picnic area near the visitor center. The only bad part has nothing to do with the park. It's that some goober-fungus built a subdivision on the lake across from the mounds. If it weren't for having to look at that, walking the park would be like a trip back in time. I admit that people have a right to build subdivisions if they own the land. And I have a right to consider those people goober-fungi.
  • It's a bit hilly but other than that quite beautiful and the people who work there are quite knowledgeable about their subjects
  • The native garden is fantastic. The walk around the Mounds area is flat, so walking is easy. Lots to learn!
  • We had a quiet and relaxing walk through the mounds. We fed a few turtles on the Arkansas River and there was no cost associated with any of the tours, museum or videos.

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