Plum Bayou Trail

Little Rock, Arkansas

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This flat, figure-eight trail loops through an area of tremendous archaeological importance. Amid the soybean fields of the Mississippi Delta lie the remnants of a late, great civilization. Built by prehistoric Native Americans from A.D. 750 to 1050, these ancient earthworks are known as the Toltec Mounds. Of eighteen mounds known to have existed at one time, only three are easily visible now. The rest were destroyed over time, mostly by agricultural activity. Other, less-well-known groups of smaller mounds can be seen throughout Arkansas, usually near lakes, rivers, and streams. From the trailhead, three large mounds can be seen in the distance across a wide-open field.These are the only easily visible mounds, and they are designated on the park brochure map as Mounds A, B, and C. But the trail doesn’t go directly to these mounds. Instead, it turns to the right and follows numbered markers along a grass-and-dirt trail, which curves around in a wide arc. A variety of wildlife can still be found in and around the lake. Wood ducks, mallards, mergansers, and cormorants are seen during fall and winter. Spring and summer bring out any number of snakes, from harmless black rat and garter snakes to venomous water moccasins and copperheads.

Plum Bayou Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This flat, figure-eight trail loops through an area of tremendous archaeological importance. Amid the soybean fields of the Mississippi Delta lie the remnants of a late, great civilization. Built by prehistoric Native Americans from A.D. 750 to 1050, these ancient earthworks are known as the Toltec Mounds. Of eighteen mounds known to have existed at one time, only three are easily visible now. The rest were destroyed over time, mostly by agricultural activity. Other, less-well-known groups of smaller mounds can be seen throughout Arkansas, usually near lakes, rivers, and streams.

From the trailhead, three large mounds can be seen in the distance across a wide-open field.These are the only easily visible mounds, and they are designated on the park brochure map as Mounds A, B, and C. But the trail doesn’t go directly to these mounds. Instead, it turns to the right and follows numbered markers along a grass-and-dirt trail, which curves around in a wide arc.

A variety of wildlife can still be found in and around the lake. Wood ducks, mallards, mergansers, and cormorants are seen during fall and winter. Spring and summer bring out any number of snakes, from harmless black rat and garter snakes to venomous water moccasins and copperheads."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Little Rock
Distance: 1.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park
Local Maps: USGS Scott
Driving Directions: Directions to Plum Bayou Trail

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May 2018