Visitor Centers

Mound City Group Visitor Center
Mound City Group visitor center with the Mound City Group in the background.

NPS / Tom Engberg

Mound City Group Visitor Center

The only visitor center among all open sites of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is at Mound City Group. Except for Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and New Year's Day, the visitor center maintains regular Hours of Operation on a daily basis. Mound City Group visitor center is located on the north side of Chillicothe, near two State of Ohio correctional facilities and Unioto Schools. Visit the Directions page for driving direction and maps to Mound City Group.


Things to Do at the Visitor Center

Need ideas or suggestions on what to do during your time at the park? Visit the Trip Ideas section to go over suggested tour plans. These pages will give you a good idea of what activities you can take part in when you visit. Whether it be for half a day, the entire day or just a few hours, we're here to help you plan a memorable trip to this park.

Scroll down for a brief synopsis of a few offerings at the park that are available during normal hours of visitor center operations. Outside park grounds and trails are open every single day, from sunrise to sunset.

Park Orientation Film
The official orientation film for the park, produced by Camera One.

Photo courtesy of Camera One

Orientation Film

Visitors are encouraged to view the 19 minute, award-winning orientation film for the park, Mysteries of the Ancient Architects. The film is shown in the spacious auditorium inside the visitor center and is conveniently located next to the park museum. For visitors who are not very familiar with the people of the Hopewell culture, the orientation film provides an exceptional informative way to start their exploration into the Hopewell culture.

Museum Horns
Copper horns on display in visitor center museum, crafted by Hopewellian hands nearly 2,000 years ago.

NPS Photo


Once visitors finish watching the orientation film, they are encouraged to explore the park museum. It offers a small glimpse into the life of the people of the Hopewell culture. Artifacts recovered during the last major excavation in the mid-1920's are on display in cases located throughout the museum. Beautiful pieces of copper, pipestone and shells were worked into effigy objects and then used for mortuary ceremonies or worn as adornments during ceremonies or everyday life. The museum also offers an interactive kiosk which allows visitors to explore the many sites of the Hopewell located throughout Ross County.

Ranger giving patio talk
A park ranger provides visitors a patio talk at the visitor center.

NPS Photo

Patio and Trails
The outside of the building offers a large viewing patio and walking trails to explore the Mound City Group. The patio is where many of the Guided Tours begin and also has benches for guests to sit down and take in the gorgeous view of the mounds. Walking down the concrete path from the visitor center, guests will find a path to the nature trail which meanders through the forest on the north side of the earthwork complex. Visitors can also enter the earthworks enclosure to access the informative waysides or they can take the trail that goes around the southern perimeter of the earthwork enclosure. All three options lead to the river trails on the east side of the park which overlook the Scioto River.
Eastern National was founded by NPS rangers in 1947 at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Park Bookstore

The park's cooperating association, Eastern National, manages a bookstore within the Mound City Group visitor center. Visitors will find a variety of books, maps, postcards, games, and other educational materials related to the park's cultural and natural resources. To find out more of what the bookstore offers, visit our Bookstore page.

Last updated: July 17, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

16062 State Route 104
Chillicothe, OH 45601


(740) 774-1126

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