Spruce Hill is a small sliver of Ohio's geologic library, rich with a beautiful biodiversity, and laden with evidence of the prehistoric Hopewell culture. Even the trail that leads up to the storied plateau area contains geologic "windows" that allow us to see back in time. The sediment-washed trail has countless exposed layers of shale which date to almost 400 million years ago. Rippled sandstone, which dots the trail, is direct evidence that the area was once under the cover of a sprawling ancient sea. The lush woodland hillsides nurture rare and exotic flora and lively fauna of all shapes and sizes.
Mystery and Awe
Built primarily of stone, a low perimeter walls encloses the 140-acre plateau of the mesa-like ridge top. At intervals along the walls is evidence of mysterious burning that produced heat higher than an open fire can generate. Spruce Hill proper is a prominent feature in the Paint Creek Valley, once affording grand vistas of the surrounding floodplain below that included the geometric ceremonial complexes of nearby Baum Earthworks and Seip Earthworks.
What To Do
Spruce Hill Earthworks is not open to the public for daily visitation. Be sure to read the Ranger Recommendations on hiking the site when you are fortunate enough to visit. Ocassionally, the park co-hosts a guided hike with a ranger. Please check the park Calendar to see when the next hike is offered or you can Contact Us.
Present and Future
Read the 1998 Spruce Hill Summary Report that explored the feasibility of adding the site to the park. Spruce Hill Earthworks is owned by park partner, the Arc of Appalachia. Hopewell Culture NHP co-manages and provides interpretation of the site, together with the Arc of Appalachia.
Visiting the Site
Spruce Hill is not open to the public on a daily basis. There is a locked gate that restricts access to the parking lot and hiking trail. While visitors are allowed to access the site with proper permissions, most visitors will be disappointed as there are NO visible markers, NO signage (interpretive and directional) and most importantly, there are NO visitor facilities. Additionally, there is NO visible archeology at the site. You will not be able to determine or find any archeological features. For this reason and for your safety, it is important that visitors not venture from trails in an attempt to locate features/archeology.
For those wishing to visit the site, it is important to know the following:
Last updated: August 12, 2019