Description - From about 200 BC to AD 500, the Ohio River Valley was a focal point of the prehistoric Hopewell culture. The term Hopewell describes a broad network of beliefs and practices among different Native American groups over a large portion of eastern North America. The culture is characterized by the construction of enclosures made of earthen walls, often built in geometric patterns, and mounds of various shapes. Visible remnants of Hopewell culture are concentrated in the Scioto River valley near present-day Chillicothe, Ohio. The most striking Hopewell site contain earthworks in the form of squares, circles, and other geometric shapes. Many of these sites were built to a monumental scale, with earthen walls up to 12 feet high outlining geometric figures more than 1000 feet across. Conical and loaf-shaped earthen mounds up to 30 feet high are often found in association with the geometric earthworks.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Hopewell Culture NHS
- Hopewell Culture National Historic Park contains nationally significant archeological resources including large earthwork and mound complexes that provide an insight into the social, ceremonial, political, and economic life of the Hopewell people. The park visitor center features museum exhibits, an orientation film, book sales area, and self-guided and guided (summer only) tours. In addition to the year-round interpretive programs available at the park, children are invited to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the visitor center. After completing activities based upon the child's age, they can receive a Hopewell Culture Junior Ranger Badge or Patch. Answers to the booklet are found in the mound area interpretative signs, the museum, and the park brochure. Special events occur throughout the year celebrating Black History Month, Women's History Month, Sheep Shearing, Molding & Casting Demonstrations, Apple Harvest Day and much more.
The park's visitor center and restrooms are handicapped accessible. Some historic structures are also accessible. All video programs are captioned for hearing impaired. Written texts of scripts for audio stations available for use by hearing impaired. Large print brochures are available for the visual impaired.
Recreation - Visitors to the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park can explore the interesting grounds via a network of trails, visit the park visitor center, bird watch, view wildlife, or participate in a nature program.
The park is open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, with extended hours to 6 PM Memorial Day through Labor Day. The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It is also closed each Monday and Tuesday for the months of December, January and February. Entrance fee is $2 for adults ages 17 and over, or a $4.00 fee for all occupants of a private vehicle. Entrance fee is waived during December, January and February.
Climate - In this area of south-central Ohio, summers are generally hot and humid with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Winters can be cold with occasional, moderate accumulations of snow.
Ohio has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
Hopewell Culture National Historical Site is located in south-central Ohio, just north of the city of Chillicothe. The park's visitor center is located three miles north of Chillicothe, on State Route 104. The Mound City unit of the park is located two miles north of the intersection of US 35 and SR 104.