If you're planning on hiking at any of the park sites and would enjoy a nice walk on the grounds, we have some tips to help you prepare.
- If you want to immerse yourself in the full experience, be prepared to walk among the mounds and on the nature trails. We highly reccomend closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from the tiny critters in the grass and on the trail, especially in the summer time.
- Dress in layers when colder weather is upon us. Walking the trails will raise body temps, but some trails are level and have no steep inclines or declines, so exertion will depend upon everyone's own physical stamina/endurance. The trail at Hopewell Mound Group does have a gradual incline that will require some exertion, but would be classified as "light" for hiking purposes. The trail at Seip Earthworks is classified as "light" as well. The new trail at Hopeton Earthworks has a gradual incline and decline once you exit the forest, so that hike is classified as "light to moderate."
- If you are going to hike Spruce Hill, make sure you contact the visitor center and arrange for the proper permit to enter the site. Spruce Hill is open to the public, but those wishing to hike the site need to obtain a permit to access the parking lot gate. Upon arriving, the lot may not be mowed. Closed-toed shoes/sturdy hiking boots are recommended for this hike. When you set out on your hike up to the plateau, the trail follows an old logging road from the west edge of the parking lot. Be advised, the hike up to the plateau is considered "moderate to difficult." It is an uphill hike with steep changes in elevation. Once at the top, the area flattens out and you may encounter tall grass if the site has not been mowed. Again, closed-toed shoes/sturdy hiking boots are recommended. Please stay on the trail as most of the existing trail on the plateau is flat. Areas off of the plateau trail have severe ridges and depressions from previous years of agricultural farming. When you are ready to leave, be cautious on your descent on the trail. The steepness of the descending trail may not appear to be as severe as it really is. This is why it is important to have on a good pair of hiking boots with good sole treads.
- Be sure to bring a good camera with plenty of extra storage. All of the park's sites are beautiful and picturesque locations and are often photographed by professionals and amateurs. To view and download professionally-taken shots of various locations around the park, visit the Photo Gallery section on our website. All photos on the park page are public domain but should be credited appropriately if/when re-used.
- Lastly, be sure to bring lots of questions! While we won't have all of the answers, rangers are available during normal business answers to assist you and to help you in your quest for more information.