Willow Drive Mound Group

A cyclist passes by an ancient goose-shaped Indian effigy mound built by Woodland culture Indians about 1,000 years ago, one of a group of four mounds between the Natatorium and the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path. The four remaining sets of mounds on campus, including those near Willow Creek, were likely built by ancestors of the present-day Ho-Chunk tribe who inhabited the region for 10,000 years. ©UW-Madison University Communications 608/262-0067
Photo by J.M. Rothbart/UW-Madison.

To the east of the Willow Creek Bridge, shaded by large bur oaks, is a beautiful group of ancient Indian burial mounds, including at least two effigy-type mounds in the shapes of a goose and a water spirit.

In addition to these mounds, a recent archaeological survey confirmed that the Willow Creek Woods area was once the site of an ancient workshop or village.

Many walkers and bikers go right by this site without ever even noticing that the mounds are here, so please make a point of stopping to see them.

The Preserve contains many burial mounds and other ancient archaeological sites. Please respect these sacred mounds by staying on the marked trails.

Read about Native Americans and the Preserve and how the mounds were built.