Cranberry Creek Mound Group SNA (Photo: Joshua Mayer)
Cranberry Creek Mound Group preserves one of the most significant archaeological sites in Wisconsin and one of the largest and best preserved mound complexes in the Upper Midwest. The site contains excellent examples of conical, linear, oval, and effigy mounds built by Native Americans of the Woodland period (ca. 100-800 A.D.).
Although the northern cluster has been altered somewhat by plowing, the southern cluster is unaltered. Among the mounds featured are bear/panther mounds and a 50 foot long bird effigy mound with a wingspan of 125 feet.
Although the mounds are featured, the site also contains a diversity of natural communities. Along the ditched channel of Cranberry Creek, large river birch and silver and red maples dominate the floodplain forest. Also present is an old-growth northern dry forest with large jack pine and an open pine-oak forest. Since 1917, archaeological investigations of mapping and interpretation have been conducted and the Area is part of a larger complex of preserved and protected mounds located in adjacent and nearby areas.
Cranberry Creek Mound Group is managed as an archaeological protection site, and an oak barrens restoration area. Archaeological features are the primary purpose for protection; management on and around the effigy mounds takes precedence over any other management proposals. Another objective is to provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality effigy mounds and barrens restorations.
Cranberry Creek Mound Group is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1986.
Size: 675 acres
County: Juneau County
Property Managed By: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Google Map Directions (opens new window)
Driving Directions: From the intersection of State Highway 21 and County Road G east of Necedah, travel north on County G about 9.8 miles to junction with County Road F and 7th Street. Park at the southwest corner of the intersection and walk west along 7th Street into the site. The best mounds are located east of Cranberry Creek, north of the drainage ditch and south of 7th Street. There is also access from 8th Street, one mile to the south.
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