Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge – Prairie City, Iowa

neal smith national wildlife refuge and prairie learning center

Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge has miles of beautiful prairie, a cool indoor learning center, paved trails, and a bison/elk herd.

dsmof disclaimer


Name: Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge
Address: 9981 Pacific St, Prairie City, IA 50228
Type: Places to take a walk, places to visit
Bathrooms: Yes
Shade: No, the building/museum is indoors and shaded but there is no shade along the trail
Playground: No
Trails: Yes, paved
Water: No
Other notes: GPS does not always work – please check their site or call for specific directions, there is signage along the roads as well. The prairie learning center has exhibits, a movie theater, and a book store. There is a 5 mile auto tour through the bison and elk enclosure, with 4 trails. Snowshoes can be checked out for free and used whenever 4 or more inches of snow are on the ground. You can check out a free “Let’s Go Outside” backpack: It contains fun items like bug jars, binoculars, and magnifying lens, at the front desk. There is a fun list of ideas on what to do with kids on their website here.
Official Website:
DSMOF Blog posts:

January 2017 Winter visit
Other things nearby of note:
If you’re looking for other places to get outside, check back-in with the interactive map!


neal smith trail map des moines EFABC2A4-0FEF-4992-B354-B4A328D88ED3 des moines buffalo


Have you been here? Leave a comment and let people know what you think!

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