Have your kiddos ever dreamed of playing Indiana Jones? Scratch that. Have YOU ever dreamed of playing Indiana Jones? Well…you can’t do any digging, and you may not find any treasure…but you CAN throw the kiddos in the car (we are teachers now, FIELD TRIP!) and take a short drive South, just outside of Fairbanks to the Waapaahsiki Siipiiwi Mounds Historical Park. Just type 9098 West County Road 825 N Fairbanks, IN 47849 into your GPS app (it’s about 40 minutes from downtown Terre Haute) and head that way for a gorgeous hidden prehistoric treasure in the Wabash Valley.
The park is small but impeccably clean and well cared for. Park, step out of your car and look to either side of the road for prehistory. What may just look like large mounds of dirt are actually prehistoric Native American mounds built by the “Mound Builders” of the Late Woodland Era (A.D. 500-1650).
This hole-in-the-wall park has something for everyone. History buffs can get their fill of education, art lovers can take in the gorgeous wood carvings…
Fitness enthusiasts can walk the trail on the North mound…
And for those that are tough to please, the pièce de résistance of the whole experience is, of course, Big Foot.
Bigfoot Sighting at the Waapaahsiki Siipiiwi Mounds
As I stood on the tall mound, I couldn’t help but consider how many prehistoric people carried basket after basket of dirt to create it. I dare you (and your children) to go visit those mounds and think about how much time was spent creating them, and how much sweat equity was put into them. Consider that, at a time when food could not be purchased at a store, it had to be hunted and grown, these prehistoric people set aside a portion of their labor to create these special mounds of dirt. That’s really something!
I hope that you and your families will take some time out of your elearning packets, computer time, and whatever other methods you are using to grab some fresh air and head down to Fairbanks to check out this unique asset that we have in the Wabash Valley. Pack a picnic, learn something new and practice social distancing with Big Foot and all of his wood carved friends (none of whom our pup Hunter was fond of) at the Waapaahsiki Siipiiwi Mounds.
Author/Photographer Bio: Emily Murray is a native Hoosier and has been a Hautian implant since coming to ISU for college in 2003. She now enjoys life in the Haute with her daughter. Emily works in the nonprofit world and dabbles in photography, dog cuddling, running and eating (lots of eating). You can find Emily online (and reach out to her for her photography services!) at Mercy Me Photography.