Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and present-day Macon are located on the Fall Line, where two great environmental zones (Piedmont and Coastal Plain) overlap. Millions of years ago, ocean waves pounded the southeastern shoreline of the North American continent. The warm sea deposited sand, silt, and marine clay along the beach. Gradually, the sea retreated and revealed a sandy plain. This former shoreline remained as a narrow band separating the Coastal Plain from the rolling, rocky hills of the Piedmont. Today we call this strip of land the Fall Line. Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is the perfect place to experience the unique landscape created by the overlap of the Coastal Plain and Piedmont ecoregions. From the top of the Great Temple Mound you can see upland forest stretching towards the north. Turn around, and you’ll see the Clay Pond and beautiful surrounding wetlands.
Upstream from Macon, the Ocmulgee River flows between rolling hills, its channel marked by stretches of rocky shoals and rapids. Below Macon, the river changes character. Its waters move languidly through wide floodplains filled with wooded wetlands, swamps and oxbow lakes where bald eagles now thrive for the first time since the 1930's. A relatively undeveloped greenway extends along the river between Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge about five miles downstream.
Last updated: December 5, 2020