Iowa Hiking, Nature May 12, 2021
Hike The Blood Run Trails In Iowa To See One Of The Oldest Inhabited Places In America
In the far northwest corner of Iowa, you can explore some beautiful walking paths along the Big Sioux River. The place is called Blood Run and it’s a special site that people have been enjoying for a very, very long time.
In fact, archaeological evidence indicates people have been here for 8,500 years.
The area is protected as part of the
Blood Run National Historic Landmark and it’s an incredible place to experience. Here’s what you need to know.
The site is located in both Iowa and South Dakota. The South Dakota side of the site is now part of Good Earth State Park.
Spear and dart points have been found that indicate people have been here for more than 8,000 years. The place was busiest between A.D. 1500 and 1700, when Oneota people dominated the region. At one times as many as 6,000 people were located here.
Villages and earthen mounds were constructed on the terraces bordering the Bg Sioux River - gardens were likely planted in the nearby bottomlands. Storage pits have been discovered that indicate corn and beans were planted here.
When a surveyor mapped the site in 1889, he found 275 mounds and an effigy in the shape of a serpent. There were also many stone circles that once were the locations of lodges.
Many of the stone and earth features have been destroyed by gravel mining, railroad construction, farming, and looting. There are ongoing efforts to protect what remains. Still, many artifacts have been found at the site and protected, including this catlinite tablet.
It's believed that Blood Run was named after the iron-stained soil. Walking paths and trails allow you to explore the site and will take you past remaining mounds.
Iowa has an amazing history that you can discover on foot. Explore these five trails that will take you to some
extraordinary ancient ruins. Address: Blood Run, Sioux, IA 51241, USA