Hamilton Tapken Prairie Preserve

Education at Hamilton Tapken Prairie Preserve


This 80 acre site includes many rare and uncommon species of prairie flowers and grasses and is managed as a prairie preserve open to hunting.  Preservation and enhancement of the sites rare plant and animal communities are a primary goal of future management.  The area is also priceless in terms of educational opportunities for local school groups and anyone interested in learning more about Iowa’s native landscape. 

 Hamilton Tapken Prairie Preserve Map


East of Hwy 136 along 60th Ave and 170th St.


Beginning in mid-March and lasting through the end of April the spring ephemerals provide a dazzling carpet of wildflowers.  Pasque flowers adorn the ridge tops and by early to mid-April prairie violets, birdsfoot violets, early blue violets, shooting star and wood betony are so dense it’s difficult to walk without trampling them.  Soon after blue-eyed grass, yellow star grass, columbine, hoary puccoon, fringed puccoon and harebell take over the impressive show.  Prairie brome, yarrow, violet and yellow wood sorrels and Carolina puccoon eventually give way to the flowering of leadplant, tall cinquefoil and pale purple coneflower.  Purple and white prairie clover, yellow coneflower, prairie drop seed and side oats gramma then begin to have their time.  Spiderwort, prairie sage and a myriad of other prairie plants always provide a constantly changing landscape for visitor.  The never ending sequence in flowering continues through October when the gentians close the show until the next year.


4:30 am - 10:30 pm


10:30 pm - 4:30 am