Mississippi Mound Trail
The Mississippi Mound Trail project is a self-guided driving tour located along or near Highway 61, a major north-south transportation route along the western part of the state. Highway 61 is also part of the scenic highway known as “The Great River Road.” The trail route parallels the Mississippi River, one of the greatest commercial waterways in our country and used extensively by the American Indians in the past.
The purpose of this trail project is to raise awareness and enhance protection of the vast array of pre-contact (prehistoric) Indian mounds and earthworks in Mississippi. The project will accomplish this by encouraging preservation, providing interpretation, fostering education, and promoting economic development along Mississippi’s roadways.
The Mississippi Mound Trail (MMT) is modeled after a similar driving tour in Louisiana, which has proven to be very successful. The Mississippi tour will include thirty-three mound sites, each visible from the road and marked with interpretive signage.
The Mississippi Mound Trail project builds on the work of a previous Transportation Enhancement grant completed in 1999 entitled, “Historical and Archaeological Inventory of Mississippi’s Great River Road,” the goal of which was to “create a resource for communities to use in developing their portion of the Great River Road, encouraging them to preserve their local history and perhaps derive economic benefits from their preservation efforts.”
Many partners have worked together to envision and develop the Mississippi Mound Trail project. Partners include the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Department of Transportation, and Federal Highways, as well as many other representatives of American Indian tribes, federal, state, and local agencies, and private organizations.