Home News Walking Tour of Ross County Prehistoric Earthworks This Morning…and More

Walking Tour of Ross County Prehistoric Earthworks This Morning…and More

The park map of the Seip Earthworks, from the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park website.

Our local national park continues to offer several summer ways to interact with their various parklands. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park has four separate units open to the public in Ross County.

This morning, if you can make it, is a ranger-guided tour of the Seip Earthworks near Bainbridge in western Ross County.

It starts at 10am Saturday, July 15th, and will run about two hours. It’s free and open to the public at 7058 U.S. Route 50, just west of Paint Valley Schools.

The parks says the walking tour will cover 2-3 miles over unpaved, uneven terrain. “Bring your questions, along with hats, water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and rain gear.”

From the park website:

Two thousand years ago, the region between Seip Earthworks and Chillicothe was one of the most important cultural centers in eastern North America for hundreds of years. On high terraces along the Paint Creek and Scioto River valleys, almost two dozen giant geometric earthwork complexes were constructed by prehistoric people we refer to as the Hopewell Culture.

One of the most magnificent engineering feats of them all was Seip Earthworks: more than two miles of embankment wall enclosing more than 120 acres in the shape of two immense circles, and a 27-acre square with astronomical alignments. The embankment wall was as high as ten feet in places.

Tragically, this great complex suffered the same fate as all Hopewell earthworks – built on prime farmland, Hopewell geometric earthworks have been plowed over for the last two centuries, leaving only a few remnants of these magnificent ancient monuments of America.

Though most of Seip’s impressive earthen walls are no longer visible on the surface, the foundations of these earthworks still remain underground and represent a nationally significant archeological and cultural resource to be preserved for future generations.

Find a listing of tours and programs, including daily talks and twice-daily tours of Mound City, in the online park calendar.

Next weekend is “Managing Grassland Habitat.” It will be 9 to 11:30am Saturday, July 22 at Mound City. Learn about the restored native prairies at the park earthworks, and how you can manage your own native ecosystems for the benefit of ground-nesting birds.

The Friends of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park support and help sponsor these programs with the park.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is celebrating its centennial this year.
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Raised in Ross County, Bearcat class of '87 at Paint Valley. Wrote a column on history and historic preservation for the Chillicothe Gazette right out of high school, then a bachelors in Journalism in the OU class of '91. After starting my one-man company "Intrepid Heritage Services" in Columbus in 1997 to offer historical research, tours, and talks, I retuned to Ross County in 2003. Have been working as a radio programmer and reporter at Clear Channel / iHeart Media Southern Ohio. Started working with the Scioto Post June 27th, 2023.