Immediately across, and effectively underneath, the long bridges over the Mississippi from Prairie du Chien, Marquette is a homey workaday community that verges on quaint. The main reason to visit is three miles north of Marquette, right along the riverbank: the Effigy Mounds National Monument (563/873-3491, ext. 123, daily, free), which preserves 2,500 acres of natural riverside ecosystems plus more than 200 distinct burial mounds, many shaped like birds and animals, for example, the Great Bear Mound. The unusual mounds are traces of the people who lived along the Mississippi from around 500 BC to the time of first European contact. The visitors center has exhibits on the archaeology of the mounds, and a dozen miles of hiking trails reach from the river to restored vestiges of the native tallgrass prairie.