Woodland Mounds Preserve is part of the largest continuous stand of timber remaining in the county. The area contains 185 acres of timber that provides habitat for many types of woodland wildlife and many neotropical migrant birds such as warblers. An additional 140 acres are leased for public access. The area is used for school field trips in the spring and early fall, has an extensive trail system, picnic area and a portion open to hunting within the rules and regulations set forth by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. To see the refuge and areas open to hunting, click here.
There is a special sense of timelessness in the timber at Woodland Mounds Preserve. The unique qualities of this beautiful wooded ridge above South River have been recognized by inhabitants of this county for thousands of years. Before European settlers came to this area, Native Americans lived along the rivers of Warren County. They were part of a culture of people who dwelled in villages located along most of the major watercourses in Iowa and the eastern half of North America. They did not leave a written record, instead they left a variety of their cultural objects such as stone tools, pottery and earthen mounds that help show us how they lived. Evidence indicates that these people lived successfully in this area for thousands of years.
One of the most interesting characteristics of the Woodland Culture was the construction large earthen mounds, usually found on the highest point of the ridge above the village site. The mounds are believed to have served either as burial sites for important tribal leaders or as some part of the religious ceremonies of the villagers. A series of conical mounds are located along the ridge at Woodland Mounds Preserve. A series of linear excavations of undetermined origin is also located here. The area was a sacred place to the Woodland people and continues to provide a link to those who were here so long before us.
When visiting this area and exploring the mounds, be mindful of their spiritual nature and remember they are protected by law.
19587 Kirkwood Street
Ackworth, IA 50125
Woodland Mounds Preserve is located 8 miles east of Indianola off of Highway 92. Take Highway 92 east out of town for 4 miles. Turn south on 165th. Follow 165th until you arrive at Kennedy Street. Turn east. Turn east again at Keokuk Street which turns into Kirkwood Street to the address.