Doolittle Prairie

Doolittle Prairie is a 40-acre tract of pothole prairie. It is a blaze of color from May through October as prairie wildflowers and grasses bloom. The pothole areas provide valuable habitat for wetland wildlife. Doolittle Prairie is utilized by the Environmental Education Program as an outdoor classroom, with many classes using it as a destination for their field trips.  

The prairie is divided into two tracts. The northern tract, Plover Tract, is owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is managed by Story County Conservation. The 24-acre Plover Tract has six natural potholes, native prairie areas, and shrub thickets. It has been managed by the conservation board since 1980.  

The southern tract, Matheason Tract, is owned by Story County Conservation. It was purchased with the help of the Iowa Natural heritage Foundation. This 16-acre tract has native prairie areas and three potholes.

Hiking, walking, bird watching, and several other activities are possible however we do not maintain trails nor do we have picnic tables or grills available.  Doolittle Prairie is a designated public hunting area; no target practice is allowed; only non-toxic shot is allowed. 

Public Hunting Brochure


SCC Rules and Regulations


14249 560th Avenue, Story City IA 50248

1.25 miles south of E-18 [130th Street] on 560th Avenue. From Ames, go north on I-35 to exit 123, then west .5 miles to 560th Avenue. Turn left and head south on 560th 1.25 miles (look for the brown arrowhead sign, entrance is hidden.) Turn west into the driveway and keep going west to the turn-around. From Highway 69, go north to 150th Street, east two miles to 560th Avenue then north for just under one mile.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Park hours are 5:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. daily.


This area is open year round.