Little Maquoketa River Mounds State Preserve is located in the Paleozoic Plateau and features a group of 32 ancient conical burial mounds. The mounds range in height from 6 inches to 4 feet, and in diameter from 12 to 40 feet, and it's believed they were created for burial and ceremonial reasons. The Late Woodland people constructed them sometime between 700 and 1,200 AD. The mounds are located on a ridge made of 450-million-year-old dolomite almost 200 feet above surrounding valleys. In the distant past, the Little Maquoketa River flowed around this projection and eventually joined the Mississippi River.
The Iowa Department of Transportation purchased the preserve in 1977 along with other agencies working with Native American representatives. In 1981, it became a geological and archaeological state preserve.
Fees, permits, and reservations may apply.