History

Fort Hill is a nature preserve containing one of the best preserved prehistoric hilltop enclosure in North America. The Hopewell Indians (100 B.C. – A.D. 500) constructed the 1 ½ mile long earthwork as well as at least two ceremonial buildings and probably a village in the Brush Creek Valley. Lying at the western edge of the Allegheny Plateau, immediately south of the glacial boundary, this hilly area contains an impressive diversity of bedrock, soils, flora, and fauna. There are 11 miles of hiking trails at the 1200 acre preserve, as well as a picnic area and latrines. The museum houses exhibits on the geology and archaeology of the area. 

Fort Hill has what many call the best hiking trails in the state. Its fully mature forests harbor many rare or endangered wildflowers, hundreds of species of mushrooms a high number of tree species. Birders will likely be able to check off several hard to find species.

You can hike to a stone and earthen-wall Hopewell hilltop enclosure at the top of Fort Hill, with a circumference of 1 ½ miles, with 33 gateways and a large ditch on the inside of the fort. A similar fort-style enclosure can be found at Fort Ancient, 50 miles away. Fort Hill’s hilltop earthworks are accessible only by hiking to the top, with two trail terminating at the enclosure.

For archaeology enthusiasts, the well preserved hilltop enclosure at Fort Hill is spectacular. But Fort Hill also has second Hopewell earthwork. Circle Earthwork, in a field on the south side of the park, can be hard to see. A mown trail leads to the earthwork from and it is accessible from the Buckeye Trail.