Prairie and Savannahs of Southeastern Minnesota

Here are just a few Prairie Smoke member favorites. More information, locations, and favorite spots are always welcome. Please contact the board members with your suggestions.

1. Savanna Spring Nature Area


Located on Highway 52 in Chatfield, on the northwest side of the Chosen Valley High School property. This is a relatively new prairie savannah restoration area. A paved trail through the area allows easy walking and viewing without damage to the vegetation.

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2. Weaver Dunes State Natural Area

Southeast of Kellogg, 4.3 miles on County Road 84. One of the finest prairies in southeastern Minnesota, Weaver Dunes hosts abundant bird, insect, mammal, and turtle populations, as well as nice prairie. This unique desert-like area was created as the ancient Mississippi River subsided. It features Prairie rose, Puccoons, Purple coneflower, and Blazing stars.

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3. Iron Horse Prairie State Natural Area


Located south of Hayfield in Dodge County. Head south on Hwy 56, then east on County Road M. This is the largest known example of mesic tallgrass prairie remaining in southeastern Minnesota. 

The Prairie Smoke chapter held a work day at Iron Horse on March 16th. Lots of woody vegetation, particularly willow, were removed. 

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Information for this page comes from Prairie Smoke members, plus "Wild and Beautiful: A Guide to the Native Wildflowers of Southeastern Minnesota," a brochure sponsored by Knowles Dougherty and IDEA, Inc., 1996.  Prairie photos from Minnesota DNR website.