Toltec Mounds State Park is located at Toltec Mounds Road in Scott, Arkansas. To get there from Little Rock visitors can take Exit #7 off Interstate 440 and go 10 miles southeast on U.S 165 then one quarter of a mile south on Arkansas 386. It opens from 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays, but it remains closed Mondays and Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Day and New Year's Day.
The park is home to the three Native American mounds, which are the tallest in Arkansas including one at 49 feet high. There were once 18 mounds here surrounded by an earthen embankment up to 10 feet high, some of which can still be seen by visitors today. These are the remains of the ceremonial and governmental complex which was inhabited here from A.D. 600 to 1150.
There are two easy trails for visitors to take on self guided tours with brochures and information available at the visitor center. The first trail is the Knapp Trail, which takes approximately three quarters of an hour and provides views of the three mounds. The second takes an hour and a quarter and is the Plum Bayou Trail, which follows the contour of the destroyed earthen embankment wall before joining the Knapp Trail and a boardwalk overlooking the Mound Lake.
The lake attracts many migrating birds in the winter such as herons, pelicans and waterfowl, whilst in the summer months visitors may see racoons, squirrels and some reptiles. Visitors are asked to stay on the trails so as to protect the site and the surrounding plants. It should also be noted that warning signs have not been erected in some areas of the park to preserve the scenic beauty, and therefore visitors are asked to supervise their children in these areas.
Various exhibits are on display at the visitor center, which opens Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm and on Sundays from 12 noon to 5pm and also includes a gift shop. Pottery, tools and other artifacts from the site are shown here along with information about the significance of the site as a ceremonial center and place of archeoastronomy. The 250-year old Griggs Canoe exhibit and video tell visitors the story of the Plum Bayou people.
The Toltec Research Station of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey and its laboratory is also located in the visitor center. An enclosed Pavilion is also located here and can be used by schools, organizations and other groups for small gatherings and events as it contains bathrooms, picnic tables and chairs. Pets are not permitted in the buildings but are allowed in the park if kept on a leash, whilst service animals are welcome.
Schools and groups can request guided tours of the site but must book in advance due to high demand. Scheduled programs can be arranged with talks given about current research as well as work done in the past. Visitors can also learn more about prehistoric lifestyle and culture as well as about the methods and practices of archaeology.
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