Poverty Point State Historic Site

6859 La Highway 577
Pioneer LA 71266
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Sat: 9am-5pm
  • Sun: 9am-5pm

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Named after a 19th-century plantation that was once located nearby, Poverty Point in Epps, Louisiana, is made up of five mounds, six concentric semi-elliptical ridges and a central plaza, all said to be over 3,000 years old. Artifacts recovered suggest these hand-built earthworks were primarily used for living, ceremonies and trade since Bayou Macon is close by. The 400-acres site has received many designations, including National Historic Landmark in 1962, Smithsonian Affiliate in 2010, and most recently UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 becoming Louisiana's first World Heritage Site.

Must see and must do at Poverty Point 
Guided tram tours are offered daily. This is the best way to become familiar with the lay of the land and learn the history. The museum inside the visitors center tells the story fo those who inhabited the area throughout recovered artifacts. To further enhance your visit, check out Poverty Point's event calendar for workshops or events typically happening on the weekends. For those who are a little more active, there is a 2.6-mile hiking trail.

Best and worst time to go to Poverty Point
The site is open daily, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). If you are looking to avoid crowds, consider visiting during the weekdays or weekends when no event is scheduled. For those sensitive to heat, know that the tram is not climate-controlled. While there is somewhat of a breeze when it's moving, you want to be comfortable; therefore, it might be best to plan your trip for in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Admission to Poverty Point
Admission is $4 per person; free for seniors (ages 62 and over) and children, ages 12 and under.

Wildlife at Poverty Point
The site is an excellent area for bird watching and spotting. Different species of songbirds are found nesting here in the winter such as the Wood Thrush, the Hooded Warbler, Red-headed woodpecker and others. You can download a comprehensive state birding guide at Atchafalaya National Heritage Area's website.

Insider tip at Poverty Point
To get the most out of your visit, do the guided tram tour first and then explore the museum.

Author's bio: Apryl Chapman Thomas enjoys discovering places to visit in the South during her travels. She believes that best places are the lesser known places. She is the feature writer for Southern Hospitality Magazine Traveler.