Poverty Point National Monument


Mound builders historically settled near major rivers, especially the Ohio and Mississippi, because the floodplains provided fertile soil for farming.  However, Poverty Point was settled 3,700 years ago by hunter-gatherers so efficient they did not need agriculture to provide leisure time.  They built a city with a population estimated at 1,500 along Bayou Macon in northeast Louisiana. 


72-foot tall Mound A, film, tram tour

Must-Do Activity

A guided tram ride with a State Park ranger is included in your admission fee, which in addition to the film shown in the State Park visitor center is the best way to learn about this site.  The tram tour does not stop to allow visitors to climb Mound A, so you will have to return in your own vehicle.

Best Trail

A stairway leads to the top of Mound A, the most impressive mound at 72-feet tall in the shape of a bird with a 70-foot wide base.  It required approximately 15-million basketloads of soil to complete.  They had no wheelbarrows or domesticated animals for assistance, so each basket was carried by hand to form the largest manmade structure in North America at the time.  No wonder this site was chosen in 2014 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Instagram-worthy Photo

The inhabitants constructed other mounds and built their houses atop concentric rings in a semi-circle D-shape facing towards Bayou Macon.  This pattern is best seen from atop Mound A.

Peak Season

The tram tour operates March through October.




$4 per adult or America The Beautiful pass

Road Conditions

All roads paved


There are private campgrounds nearby or 40 miles away is Chemin-A-Haut State Park.

Explore More – Why will you not find any National Park Service logos at this National Monument?

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