• A cool & crisp autumn sunrise at the Mound City Group

    Hopewell Culture

    National Historical Park Ohio

Special Events

Solstice2013moon and melinda

Park Ranger Melinda Repko leads visitors in a camp fire program during the 2013 Summer Solstice Celebration.

NPS/Tom Engberg

The park hosts special events throughout the year. This page features annual events at the park that include lectures on cultural and natural resources, commemoration events, and special activities for children. Most programs are fee free and are open to visitors and groups of all ages. If you have any questions or would like more information than what is listed below, please call (740)774-1126.

Park Calendar of Events
View the detailed Park Calendar and search for events based on dates.


Annually Occurring Park Events:

Squier and Davis map of Spruce Hill, 1848

1847 rendering of Spruce Hill by Squier and Davis

Guided Hike to Spruce Hill Isthmus

Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Time: 9:30 am –1:30 pm
Length: 3.5 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderately challenging with significant ascents and descents
Location: Meet at Spruce Hill parking area

Mysterious Spruce Hill is the world's largest Hopewell hilltop enclosure and one of only three such rare hilltops surrounded by a mounded wall of stone.Why did prehistoric hunter-gatherers build a low mounded wall of stone around such an enormous plateau, but never live here? How did they create fires here with temperatures hotter than an open fire can generate? Is there really a serpent mound in the middle of the enclosure? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in the guided hike, which begins at the foot of Spruce Hill and ascends a gravel road through beautiful forested slopes to the remains of an entrance at the edge of the mesa. From there, the route proceeds through flat but uneven former farm fields to the isthmus at the far end of the plateau, where the best preserved section of the wall and gateways remains. Few guided hikes visit the isthmus because it is such a long hike from the parking lot. Additionally, Spruce Hill is not normally open to the public without a permit, so this is an uncommon opportunity to explore this flat-topped finger of stone that thrusts into the scenic Paint Valley.

Spruce Hill Preserve is owned by the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System, and co-managed with the National Park Service and the Ross County Parks District.

Meet at the Spruce Hill Preserve parking area located on Spruce Hill Rd. off Black Run road, off Blain Highway, off U.S. Route 50, three miles east of Bourneville. Call 740-774-1126 for directions or download and print a driving map. Spruce Hill is a 20 minute drive from the Mound City Group visitor center. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a full water bottle and a packed lunch or hearty trail snacks.
Good grief! It's the Great Pumpkin Walk, Chuck!

Click the photo for details on the 2014 Great Pumpkin Walk

NPS / Susan Knisley

The Great Pumpkin Walk

Saturday, October 18
Pumpkin Carving: 10am - 2pm
Pumpkin Walk: 7pm - 9pm

Illuminate Mound City Group with your carved pumpkin!

Pumpkins are provided free, and yours to take home at 9 pm after the walk. Groups larger than 5 people should call and reserve a spot. All carved pumpkins will be displayed throughout the grounds of Mound City Group that evening. Mound City Group will re-open at 7 pm for a public viewing of these carved creations, illuminating the ancient monuments of the Hopewell! Pumpkins are free and available on a first-com, first-served basis. Bring your own carving tools. For groups of 5 or more, please call the park to make a reservation at 740-774-1126 for more information. You can also find more details on the press release page.

Yoga participants @ Mound City Group

Visitors participating in a Yoga class at Mound City Group.

NPS / Susan Knisley

Free Yoga in the Park!

Dates: Saturdays in July, August & September
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Mound City Group Visitor Center

Join us at the Mound City Group Visitor Center on Saturdays at 9 a.m from July 17 - September 27 for free yoga with a certified yoga therapist. All fitness levels welcome! Bring your own yoga mat, blanket or towel and enjoy a beautiful morning in the park as you stretch the body, mind and spirit. If weather does not permit an outdoor class, we will gather in the visitor center auditorium. Classes last approximately 60 minutes. Yoga in the Park is a new program developed in support of the National Park Service's "Healthy Parks, Healthy People" initiative. Yoga in the park is made possible through partnerships with Terry Dunlap, owner of Living Balanced Yoga Studio and the YMCA of Ross County. For more detailed information and to sign up, call the Mound City Group Visitor Center: 740-774-1126.

Camp cpnstruction

Camp Sherman under construction, summer of 1917

Photo courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

Remembering Camp Sherman:
A Commemoration of Chillicothe's Contribution to World War I

Date: November TBD, 2014
Time: TBD
Location: Mound City Group Visitor Center

Join Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in commemorating Camp Sherman. Come and view artifacts and historic footage from this WWI training camp, which trained nearly 120,000 soldiers for battle.

"Camp Sherman: In Retrospect" is an audiotape and slide show presentation that was first produced in 1982 from oral history interviews that were recorded with 16 individuals who had direct experience with America's third-largest Army training base during World War I. The National Park Service production was recently converted into a digital format for new generations of viewers and listeners. The program lasts about 42 minutes and will be screened regularly on a large dedicated computer monitor throughout the event. A separate computer will be made available for visitors who wish to search a database for records of relatives who may have served at the military base. Camp Sherman artifacts and film footage will be on display each day.

To learn more about the history of Camp Sherman, visit the Camp Sherman page.


Laura Murphy address visitors during the 2013 Harness Lecture Series

NPS / Tom Engberg

The Robert L. Harness Lecture Series

Date: Thursdays in June & July
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Mound City Group visitor center

Whether you are a professional archeologist, an armchair enthusiast, or just interested in archeology the lecture series has something for everyone.Learn from experts in the many fields of archeology.Speakers and titles vary from year to year and always include visiting researchers conducting excavations in and around Ross County. This is your chance to ask questions and gain knowledge about many topics, including those pertaining to the Hopewell Culture.

prehistoric paddle

A kayaker takes in Copperas Mountain in the background during the ranger-guided canoe/kayak tour.

NPS / Brandi Nunnelee

Prehistoric Paddle on Paint Creek

Dates: Thursdays in June, July and August
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Meet @ Water's Edge Canoe Livery
Fees: Canoe/Kayak rental or bus shuttle fee apply *

During the summer, you can join a Park Ranger from Hopewell Culture National Historical Park for a guided paddle on Paint Creek!

Boaters begin the journey at Water's Edge Canoe Livery. You may bring your own boat or rent a Kayak or Canoe from the livery. From Water's Edge Canoe Livery boaters are shuttled to just north of Seip Earthwork to the shores of Paint Creek where the program begins. The tour is approximately 8 miles and will last from 3 hours to 5 hours, ending at Jones Levee bridge where boaters will be picked up and shuttled back to Water's Edge Canoe Livery. Boaters also have the option to paddle on 11 miles to Water's Edge Canoe Livery. Things to bring along: Sack Lunch, Water, Sunscreen and Bugspray

* For more information, visit the park Canoe/Kayak Page for rental / bus shuttle fees info, dates and contact information.

Art supplies Arts Afire

Art supplies await the next round of students

NPS / Susan Knisley

Arts Afire - Mound City Summer Art Program
Experience Your National Park Through Art!

Dates: Tuesday's in July
Time: Ages 5-8, 10am - 12pm
Ages 9-12, 2pm - 4pm
Location: Mound City Group visitor center

Join us at Mound City Group in July for our annual summer art program. Throughout the program students will learn about famous artists, art styles, and art techniques, all while making connections to history and nature.

All supplies will be provided. Admission is free! The program will be available Tuesday's in July. Please call one week in advance to make reservations at 740-774-1126.

Please Note: Students must be accompanied by an adult during the entire program. Sign-up for a program according to the age of your child.

Earn our Junior Archeology badge during one of our Junior Archeology Day events!

Junior Archeology Days

Dates: The 2014 season has concluded, check back in the spring for future dates
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Mound City Group visitor center

The Junior Archeologist program is an opportunity for children to learn about the archeology at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and have fun at the same time!Children ages 5 -12 are invited to participate in this event. Children will be able to watch our 17-minute video, tour our museum, take a ranger-led mound tour, and participate in a mock dig to earn a Junior Archeologist badge!

Parents and/or Guardians, Please Note; you will be required to stay with your children during the entire program.

Did You Know?

Mordecai Hopewell

The term "Hopewell" derives from the farm where excavations of an earthwork site (Hopewell Mound Group) occurred in 1891-1892 under the direction of Warren K. Moorehead. The property was owned by a local dry goods merchant and former Confederate Army soldier, Mordecai Cloud Hopewell.