Lizard Mound County Park

Also known as: Lizard Mound State Park
NE of West Bend, West Bend, Wisconsin

Acquired by Washington County from the State of Wisconsin in 1986



So I finally get to Lizard Mound County Park, all excited about seeing the effigy mounds…but wait! What's that sign?

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in June 2013




The Mound Builders lived in Wisconsin and several other central United States between the 5th and 9th Centuries. Little is known about them, in fact, Native Americans who were here when the white man first arrived did know know who built the mounds, or why.

This site was first surveyed in 1883 and Professor Julius L. Torney documented 47 mounds and said that more had been destroyed by land use. It is estimated that approximately 60 mounds were once located here. Archaeological excavations in 1960 revealed that the Mound Builders buried their dead in pits that were then covered with effigy mounds that resembled creatures both real and mythical. Some were cone shaped. Dead were buried with pottery, beads and pipes. No one knows exactly why.

The park was opened in 1950 and was acquired by Washington County in 1960. A self guided tour on improved trails opens the collection to the general public.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1970
Reference number
NR name
Lizard Mound State Park
Area of significance
Archeology - Prehistoric
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
1000-500 AD
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 31
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • March 6, 2016: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos
  • June 10, 2013: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • November 6, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added to new category tag "Effigy Mounds"