Hopewell Culture National Historic Park Review – Travel In Ohio

Hopewell Culture NPS Visitor's Center Museum, Chillicothe, Ohio "Saguaro Sunsets" R. Carlos Nakai
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Native American history abounds in Ohio, but little is showcased as well as it is done at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. I know that quite a few people are going to ask why would they want to visit this location or even worse what does the place offer for me? Well, that is why I decided to do a complete Hopewell Culture National Historic Park review to make it easier for you to make an informed decision if you want to stop here and immerse yourself in a new cultural experience or not.

Where Is The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park Located

Now, the park is documented fairly well in where it is located, but actually it is in an area that has a state prison by it. So do not pick up any hitchhikers at all in the region! However, the park is located close to Chillicothe, Ohio which has plenty of hotel space for you to stay in as the park does not have any camping areas. At the same time, you can find plenty of restaurant options from Chinese, Mexican, and even the normal fast food type of locations for you to enjoy as well.

What Can I Do At The National Park In Ross County

I know a common question for a lot of people is what can I do at the Hopewell Culture Center? Well, that really depends as the location is home to quite a few mounds that you can hike around and look at. At the same time, though, the park does have a museum for you to walk through. In addition to the mounds, you are going to have a chance to walk around the perimeter of the park as well on the trail, which is very well maintained and for the most part has gravel that makes it quite a bit easier to follow the trail. The second half of the trail, though, is grass and is nice to walk along.

What Does The Museum Have Available

Once you have parked your vehicle you are going to walk down the sidewalk and will see the museum. The museum, last time I was at the park, was free and should still be free. So what exactly does the museum at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park museum have available for you to enjoy seeing?

As you can imagine the museum is actually the educational hub for the park. When you go into the park museum you can enjoy the fact that you are able to see a lot of artifacts that were found at the location. These vary in what you see, but the really interesting part is all of these are from a time before the state of Ohio existed and in most cases before the first European settlers even made their way to the soil of North America.

What else you can find out when you visit the museum is you start to see more about the history of the park site itself. Prior to the park being formed the location was a training camp for soldiers and most of the mounds were either torn down or moved to make the camp tenable for the soldiers and provide plenty of space for drilling. The museum provides plenty of recognizable space for you to enjoy the location more by showing how the area has changed over time.

What Does The Trail Provide

Trail hiking is definitely one aspect that has drawn a lot of people to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park and it is easy to see why. The trails are mostly level and for part of the trails are completely covered in gravel. Now, I will tell you that some of the trail is not gravel covered and can cause you some issues if you are using a wheel chair or other walking aid. The other half of the trail is a grassy hill that will wrap you around the mounds.

The trail also has a great section that you can hike down and it will take you along the Scioto River. This river is one that does not look deep or strong, but remember it is a river and it can be deceiving at times. When you on the part by the river make sure you check out some of the observation type of platforms. These provide you with a great view of the river and definitely make it easier to sit down and enjoy the river and the silence of the location.

Are The Mounds Interesting

At the Hopewell mounds park it is rather easily for you to enjoy the mounds. The mounds are larger than what I have seen in other areas, but also their are plenty of mounds around the park. Some of the mounds will have a plaque that is close to the mound. These plaques tend to give you a little bit of history about the mound and in some cases what may have been found inside of them when archaeology digs were completed on the mound.

It is very important for you to be respectful of the mounds. While we may not think much about it in current times, these mounds were reverent places for the Hopewell Culture and definitely a place that you need to be respectful. I can tell you from my own personal experience with the mounds that it tends to be a very calming and spiritual place as well. To get to this connection I would recommend sitting down on the benches that are located near the trails and just sit and listen.

What Is Around The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park To Do

The trail and even the mounds will not take you the entire day to take in. With that being the case it is important for you to check out the area. You do have another mound area to walk down to, but it is a trail and area that is not really well followed which the trail is lonely. At the same time, though, it makes it easier for you to have a great time on a trail by yourself.

You can find plenty of food in Chillicothe with various restaurants. You can find our list of the best Chinese restaurants in Chillicothe here, but you also have your normal flare of restaurants as well. Now, if you want to take a step back in nostalgia to a point you can check out Sumburger which is a classic restaurant in the Chillicothe area, but it was recently updated and moved to a newer location so the car hops are no longer found.

My Final Thoughts On The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park

History is one aspect of travel that I really enjoy learning about. Well, one aspect of American history that is interesting, but can be overlooked is the Native American history. The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park review that we just completed provides plenty of information on what you can see and do. At the same time, though, I really enjoy the fact that the center covers the history and provides a living testament to one of the cultures that faded away into history, but also made a lifelong impact on the Earth’s surface and even in the formation of cultures in the future which makes this one place for you to stop and check out if you want to learn about history.

Discover more information on the National Park Website.