Kolomoki Mounds

Map and Guide

brochure Kolomoki Mounds - Map and Guide

Trails map and guide for Kolomoki Mounds State Historic Park (SHP) in Georgia. Published by Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.

d ki Ro a d st K ol o mo ki R oa F ir olom o nd K C E k Tra 5m i.) P P P Pioneer Area #1 B Fir st ke Ko lom oki Cy p Po ress nd PARK BOUNDARY Ko lom ok iR Group Camp Camp Hicita Lake Y oh o oa d PARK BOUNDARY H l iu Trail (1.25 mi.) La Hammock Area #1 m G e Oa . i l (1 il Tr F A it Wh D P Pioneer Area #2 Seco PARK BOUNDARY la LEGEND White Oaks Trail Dump Station Boat Ramp Spruce Pine Trail Parking Comfort Station Playground Connector Trail Group Shelter Outhouse Mini Golf Staff Residence Picnic Shelter Amphitheater Paved Road H Indian Mounds Hammock Site d oa Tent & RV Camping Restroom ki R A mo Footbridge Overlook olo River PARK BOUNDARY dK Park Road S p r u c e P i n e Tr a i l ( 2 . 5 m i . ) c on Se Trillium Trail Park Office & Museum Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park Trail Map Playfield 205 Indian Mounds Road • Blakely, Georgia 39823 • Emergency: 702-907-2150 • GaStateParks.org PARK BOUNDARY KOLOMOKI MOUNDS STATE HISTORIC PARK This unusual park in southwest Georgia is an important archaeological site as well as a scenic recreational area. The Kolomoki settlement is one of the larger mound sites in the Southeast. Seven earthen mounds were built between 200-900 C.E. by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians. The mounds include Georgia’s oldest great temple mound, two burial mounds and four ceremonial mounds. The park’s museum is partially situated inside an excavated mound, providing an unusual setting for viewing artifacts and a film. A small admission is charged at the museum. The word Kolomoki means Land of the White Oaks in the Muscogee (Creek) language. Activities and Facilities Camping - The park offers 24 campsites with a central bathhouse, sanitary disposal station, and water and electrical hook-ups. Two pioneer areas are available for groups. Group Camp – Large gatherings such as retreats and reunions can take advantage of the group camp with dining hall, six cabins, two craft shelters, baseball field, assembly shelter and lake. The dining hall may be rented when the group camp is not occupied. Picnicking – The park offers numerous picnic tables, four covered picnic shelters, and two group shelters for 50 or 125 people. Group shelters must be reserved in advance. Fishing - Park waters are open for legal fishing througout the year. Both Lake Yohola (upper lake) and Lake Kolomoki (lower lake) have a dock and boat ramp. Anglers 16 or older must have a valid resident/non-resident fishing license. Bank fishing is allowed from 7 a.m. until dark. Boating - Private boats are permitted on park waters with a 10 horsepower restriction. Boating is permitted until sundown. All boats must comply with the Georgia Boating Safety Law. Jon boats, canoes, kayaks, SUP and pedal boats are available for rent. Other Activities – This 1,293-acre state park also has nature trails, playground equipment, miniature golf and an amphitheater. PARK TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION TRILLIUM TRAIL This 1.25 mile loop traverses four natural communities. Starting along Lake Kolomoki, you will cross several springfed streams, climb a moist slope forest, ramble through an upland hardwood forest, and descend a dramatic steephead. Watch for transitions between communities as the trail climbs and descends. These communities appear much as they did when Native Americans grew their crops along the floodplain of Little Kolomoki Creek, now flooded by the lake. As you walk, try to imagine how you might find food, beverages, medicines, fuel, clothing, dyes, shelter and tools if you lived here hundreds of years ago. Common birds found in this area include piliated and redbellied woodpeckers, flickers, yellow warblers, pine warblers, cardinals, nuthatch, chickadee and towhee. Wild turkey and bobwhite quail may be spotted on the ground, while redshouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk and turkey vultures soar overhead. Look for tracks of bobcat, red fox, deer, opossum and raccoon in the soil. Hikers will see switchcane (a native bamboo), Southern magnolia (large green leaves), sassafrass (three leaf shapes growing on one plant), sarsparilla vine (used to make beverages), sparkleberry, hickory, muscadine grapes, dwarf palmetto (fan-like leaves), loblolly pine and spruce pine. A separate brochure further describes plants, animals and geology at 20 numbered stops along the trail. SPRUCE PINE TRAIL Part of Georgia’s Southern Rivers Birding Trail, this 2.5-mile trail starts at the Lake Yohola dam, crosses a road and leads to Lake Kolomoki. The cypress pond area of this second lake is particularly good for birding. The terrain is somewhat rugged, and hikers can enjoy footbridges and wildlife observation platforms. Common trees include magnolia, dogwood, spruce pine and water oak. Wild azaleas bloom in spring. Frequently spotted wildlife includes turkey, deer, quail, bobcat and armadillo. WHITE OAK TRAIL This 1.5-mile trail circles the mounds and passes through part of the village area, which was arranged in a horseshoe shape around the mounds. These woods provided timber used to build thatched huts for housing. Some of the gulleys and ravines have underground springs flowing from them, which provided an abundant water source for the village. These springs flow into Lake Kolomoki, then into the Chattahoochee River 12 miles away, which served as a major trade route. Archaeologist believe the Indians chose this site because of the rich farmland, wild game, fishing and abundant water. INDIAN MOUNDS Hundreds of years ago, this area – with its surrounding villages, burial mounds and ceremonial plaza – was a center of population and activity in North America. This unblazed trail leads to 7 mounds and a cemetery, which are further explained by markers along the way. The gully’s purpose has been debated since the 1840s. Some believe it was once SAFETY TIPS & ETIQUETTE covered, providing a way to get to the creek during a siege, while others thought it provided dirt for the mounds. The main village was located in the plaza, now an open field in front of Mound A. The tallest mound is 56 feet high and the shortest is around 4 feet high. • Tell someone your itinerary and expected return time. MOUND A – The Temple Mound, constructed more than 700 years ago, is 56 feet high and measures 325 by 200 feet at the base. Research indicates that it would have taken more than 2 million basket loads, each holding one cubic foot of earth, to build this mound. It is believed this mound served as the area’s religious center. • Do not stray from trails. If you become lost, stay in one location and wait for help. This will make it easier for rescuers to find you. MOUND B – A series of wooden posts were erected in this mound, possibly for games. MOUND C – Archaeologists are unsure of Mound C’s function, but it may have been made of sweepings from the plaza. The mound is approximately the same size as Mound B, and is located at the north end of the Temple Mound (corresponding to that of Mound B to the South). MOUND D – During the 1950s, this was excavated and rebuilt to its original size of 20 feet high and nearly 100 feet in diameter. D is one of the largest and most elaborately constructed burial mounds in the Southeastern United States. The mound was built to bury a leader along with sacrificed servants, trophy skulls, and wives. The remains of additional people, whose bodies had been stored in the temple awaiting burial, were included in the mound. Radiocarbon dating estimates the mound was built around 30 A.D. MOUND E – This burial mound of the Weeden Island Tribe was the first of the Kolomoki area to be scientifically excavated. Today, the park’s museum is built into the mound, shown just as archaeologists left it. Four people were buried in this mound, along with 54 pottery items to be used in the afterlife. Radiocarbon dating in 1956 put the building around 170 B.C. The accuracy of radiocarbon dating is within 300 years. MOUND F – This mound is 60 feet long, 50 feet wide and six feet high, with an oval shape. Inside is a square, white clay platform 30 feet wide. Artifacts consist solely of a handful of sherds, most from the Weeden Island period. MOUND G – Burials of the Mercier family, owners of the Mercier Plantation that once included this land, are found here. MOUND H – Archaeologist Dr. William H. Sears speculated this small mound was used in the burial ceremony for the Mound D leader, then capped with red clay. An internal yellow clay platform, measuring three feet high, has not been disturbed. • Take a map, water, snacks, first aid kit, flashlight and whistle. Three short blasts on a whistle are known as a call for help. • Don’t count on cell phones to work in the wilderness, but if they do, be able to give details about your location. • Invest in good hiking socks such as those found at sporting goods stores. Avoid blisters by carrying “moleskin” and applying it as soon as you feel hot spots on your feet. Available in the foot care section of drug stores, moleskin is like felt that sticks to your skin. • Be prepared for unexpected rain and wind which can lead to hypothermia. Always carry quality rain gear and turn back in bad weather. If you become wet or cold, it is important to get dry and warm as quickly as possible. • Dress in layers and avoid cotton. Today’s hikers can choose from numerous fabrics that wick moisture, dry quickly and conserve heat. Many experienced hikers wear a lightweight shirt that wicks moisture, while carrying a fleece pullover and rain jacket. • Pack out all trash. • Keep pets on a leash at all times and clean up after them. • Do not pick flowers, disturb wildlife or take anything off the park. • Protect the park and help prevent erosion by staying on marked trails. CLIMATE DATA FOR BLAKELY, GEORGIA Month Avg. High Avg. Low Mean Avg. Precip. Record High Record Low Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 60ºF 64ºF 72ºF 79ºF 85ºF 91ºF 92ºF 92ºF 88ºF 80ºF 71ºF 63ºF 37ºF 40ºF 46ºF 52ºF 61ºF 68ºF 70ºF 70ºF 65ºF 54ºF 46ºF 39ºF 6.72 in 5.26 in 5.98 in 3.71 in 4.01 in 4.99 in 5.17 in 4.51 in 3.71 in 2.70 in 3.78 in 3.98 in 6ºF (1924) -1ºF (1899) 17ºF (1980) 30ºF (1987) 34ºF (1903) 47ºF (1984) 50ºF (1901) 56ºF (1986) 40ºF (1967) 29ºF (1917) 15ºF (1950) 6ºF (1962) 48ºF 52ºF 59ºF 66ºF 73ºF 79ºF 81ºF 81ºF 77ºF 67ºF 59ºF 51ºF 85ºF (1911) 85ºF (1989) 96ºF (1907) 97ºF (1906) 102ºF (1916) 108ºF (1911) 107ºF (1930) 105ºF (1911) 110ºF (1925) 101ºF (1911) 92ºF (1986) 89ºF (1906)

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