Hayden Prairie State Preserve

Cresco, Iowa 52136

Hayden Prairie State Preserve

Hayden Prairie State Preserve Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The state’s largest virgin prairie tract outside the Loess Hills, Hayden Prairie is named for an early Iowa botanist and pioneer in prairie preservation, Dr. Ada Hayden. Its 240 acres provide exceptional habitat for prairie and grassland flora and fauna—and a sobering reminder of Iowa’s lost past.

The grass and wildflower displays in mid- to late summer are unparalleled in their beauty. Listen for the grasshopper sparrow’s buzz, the northern harrier’s shriek, and the meadowlark’s song echoing metallically from a distant fencepost. Here you’ll get a taste of the incredibly diverse prairies that once covered the state."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
103 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Approximately 2 to 3 hours
Best July through September
IDNR Upper Iowa Wildlife Unit
Local Contacts
USGS Lime Springs NW
Local Maps