Lake Koshkonong Effigy Mounds

Also known as: General Atkinson Mound Area
W7561 Koshkonong Mounds Road, just west of Old 26 Road

A group of 11 Native American Effigy Mounds in a county park setting.


State of Wisconsin Historical Marker


Between AD 650 and 1200, groups of Native Americans throughout the southern half of Wisconsin and portions of adjacent states built earthen mounds of various shapes and sizes, including mounds shaped like animals, today called effigy mounds. The 11 mounds preserved here in the Jefferson County Indian Mounds and Trail Park were part of a larger group of 78 mounds and include symmetrical and animal shapes, resembling birds, turtles or lizards, and perhaps spiritual figures. A remnant of an ancient trail is also visible in the park.

The people who built effigy mounds hunted and collected food, often returning to the same locations seasonally. They lived in semi-permanent villages, used the bow and arrow, and made and used pottery. Mounds likely served ceremonial, spiritual and practical purposes, perhaps marking territories and designating special gathering places. Mounds often, but not always, contain burials. The Lake Koshkonong area once had 23 effigy mound groups, composed of about 500 individual mounds.


Photo taken by J.R. Manning




It is believed that as many as 72 (or 78, depending on which source you believe) effigy mounds might have been a part of this location. The park is surrounded by private property and some of those missing 61 mounds may be located on the surrounding properties.

There is another mound site nearby, known as the Hoard Group, located on the adjacent country club property and is not thought to be a part of this grouping.

Update Log 

  • June 19, 2011: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • WISCONSIN MOUNDS - A privately funded and produced website dedicated to the preservation of Wisconsin Native American Structures, particularly effigy mounds.