Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm Park Type: Neighborhood Acres: 10.56 Restroom: Yes Drinking Water: Yes Shoreline On: Lake Mendota
2102 Sherman Avenue
Nestled on the shores of Lake Mendota near Maple Bluff, Burrows Park features a rustic park shelter with stunning lake views, playground and a historical Native American Burial mound. The park is often used by a local sailing club to store and launch their boats. The restroom facility was renovated in 2010.
Burrows Park Native American Effigy Mound and Campsite
Location: east of parking lot Built: ca. 700 - 1200 A.D.
Description: On a rise just east of the Burrows Park parking lot is a straight-winged bird effigy mound with a wingspan of about 128 feet. A "running fox" mound used to exist north of the bird. The bird effigy was restored in 1934 by removing tree stumps, repairing mutilations caused by vandals and resodding.
The bird, in the religious beliefs of the mound builders, probably symbolized sky spirits; mounds described in the past as "lizards" may have represented water spirits, and bears and other animals may have represented people and other creatures that lived on the earth's surface.
Wisconsin has the highest concentration of effigy mounds in the United States and the Madison area has one of the highest concentration of effigy mounds remaining. Most mounds were lost to 19th century agricultural practices and city development. The mound builders were farmers who also engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in small villages and migrated from one to another based on the seasonal availability of natural resources. The mounds often, but not always, have burials associated with them, but their exact purpose is not entirely understood. Mounds tend to have been built in places with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The mounds are considered sacred by modern Native Americans and should be treated with respect.
The Burrows Park Effigy Mound and Campsite was designated a City of Madison landmark on May 19, 1975
and is on the National Register of Historic Places.