Poverty Point is perhaps the best-known archaeological site in Louisiana, but it is far from the only one. The remains of ancient settlements are spread throughout the Mississippi Delta, and all offer clues to how life was lived thousands of years ago.
Take a two-day trip down some of the regions’ scenic back roads to view just a few of these monumental earthworks, plus other must-see stops along the way.
Frogmore is both a modern-day cotton plantation and a historical museum, telling the stories of cotton farming, slavery and the Civil War in the region. There is also an Indian mound on-site, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about ancient and not-so-ancient history in the same place.
The Catahoula Parish mounds are your next stop. Located in the rural farmland near Jonesville, you’ll find Troyville Earthworks, which was once home to Louisiana’s tallest Indian mound (and second-tallest in North America).
If you’re up for extending your trip, consider heading south from Jonesville to Marksville. It is home to an ancient American Indian ceremonial center, as well as the present-day Tunica-Biloxi tribe. Be sure to visit the exhibits in the Tunica-Biloxi Cultural and Educational Resources Center, and if you’re lucky enough to be in Marksville in May, be sure to check out the tribe’s annual Pow Wow. Regardless of when you visit Marksville, do yourself a favor and pick up some cracklins and boudin from Juneau’s Cajun Meats.
North from Jonesville, finish your first day of backcountry exploration by visiting McGuffee Mounds, which the Louisiana's Ancient Mounds Driving Trail guide calls “one of the most spectacular sites on the Mounds Trail.” Nearby are Peck Mounds and Harrisonburg Mounds, complexes that archaeologists have been studying for nearly a century. When visiting these earthworks just south of Harrisonburg, keep an eye out for wildlife—the Sicily Island Hills Wildlife Management Area is a top spot for birders in Louisiana.
When it’s time to unwind, drive to West Monroe and check in at Hamilton House Inn. This historical bed-and-breakfast has a spacious second-story balcony overlooking the antique shops along Trenton Street.
In the morning, get a bite of breakfast at the Monroe location of world-famous Lea’s of Lecompte, then drive east on Interstate 20. Take exit 153 to Delhi and drive 7 miles south to Insley Mounds, a site with three visible mounds overlooking Bayou Macon.
Your journey ends at Poverty Point World Heritage Site, an ancient architectural wonder built hundreds of years before the great Mayan cities or Machu Picchu was constructed.
Find more trip inspiration by visiting one of the other Poverty Point travel itineraries. With cultural, culinary, historical and family-friendly destinations to choose from, you are sure to find plenty of reasons to explore northeast Louisiana’s hidden treasures.