Experience a walk through prairie grasses that tower above your head with a chance to view bison and elk. Tallgrass prairie once covered more than a third of Missouris landscape. Today less than 1 percent remains. Prairie State Park, at nearly 4,000 acres, preserves Missouris largest remaining tallgrass prairie. The spectacular panoramic vista of Prairie State Park is a sea of grass strewn with the colors of ever-changing wildflowers. In spring, bouquets of yellow-star grass and Indian paintbrush set the stage for the courtship dance of the prairie chicken. Growing taller each day, summer wildflowers include pale purple coneflower, Meads milkweed and prairie blazing star. By fall, grasses such as big bluestem and Indian grass may reach 8 feet high. Enjoy the beauty and solitude of the prairie by hiking one of the parks five trails, which offer excellent opportunities for bird watching, photography and viewing wildlife and wildflowers. Check on the location of bison and elk at the visitor center before hiking. Prairie State Parks visitor center is designed to enhance the visitors prairie experience with nature programs, interpretive displays and hands-on exhibits. Visitors may wish to extend the prairie experience by using the picnic area, small campground or primitive backpack camp.
This is a great place to explore and see a variety of plant life. If you're into prairies then this is your best bet in the 4-state area, especially because you can also see bison grazing throughout the park. There are some areas with trees and hills that make the hike worth it.
I thought it was a nice touch to have a trail on the other side of an electric fence. Just be sure to be careful and read directions if you're not familiar with it.
The best part is the bison. Go check out the visitor center and see the location of the herd!
stay on the blazes. I tried a short cut. fail. this was a good eventful hike. ran across a dying buffalo and marked the spot on my phone to report to the rangers. the gate way between fields was a buffalo wallow and made for a difficult muddy (over the knee deep) crossing.
Be ready for bison. Got stuck between two herds and could not cross the path safely for a while, but that really is not common. Over all a good trail, flat with few creek crossings and watch for bison dong. But maps describing the trails are confusing.
When you wake up on the small rise in a circle of twitchy prairie grass, you feel like you're the first person-- or maybe the last-- to see the sunrise.
This is one of my favorite spots in SWMO. Stop by the visitor's center and check with the ranger to make sure you're out of the way of the bison before you set out. The trail is only a mile, but the view from the backpacking campsite is the best for miles. No roads, no soybean fields, no towns, no people, no street lights. A good place to get away for just a night.