Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
On my previous post about road trip necessities, I included several pictures of places I have been to on either a little day trip adventure or a long haul road trip. One of those day trip locations was the beautiful Tallgrass Prairie Preserve located outside of Pawhuska, Okla., in Osage County.
At 40,000 acres, the preserve is the largest protected area of tall grass prairie on earth. It gives you an idea of what a large portion of our country used to look like prior to the urban sprawl of many major cities across the Midwest. With nearly 2,100 head of free range bison, 210 species of birds, white-tailed deer, bobcats, armadillos, beavers, woodchucks, badgers, coyotes, and much more, you are bound to have at least a few wild encounters!
During mid-May, you can see nearly 600 baby bison making their way through the tall grasses with their mothers. Mid-May through mid-June there are also loads of wildflowers that add a special touch to the prairie. If you are more into the fall colors and brown grasses, wait until the fall.
We drove around and hiked for about 2 ½ hours looking at the beautiful landscape. They have several trails of various lengths and difficulties that are well taken care of. The driving trails are all gravel so don’t plan on washing your truck the day before. If you feel like taking a lunch break during your trip, there are several picnic tables near the visitor’s center under some beautiful shade trees. If you feel like waiting a little longer for a meal, you can head back into downtown Pawhuska and have a bite at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile.
There are public restrooms located next to a small visitor’s center and gift shop. It is fairly small but is manned by several extremely knowledgeable volunteers. We learned lot of interesting facts about prairie land and the history of the property after speaking with one of the gentleman there. One of the greatest parts of this place is that it is free! That’s right, you heard me. F-R-E-E. Free. One of my favorite words. They do ask that you sign their guest book and there is a little box for donations as they are a non-profit.
15316 Co Rd 4201
Pawhuska, Ok 74056
Please remember that these are wild animals and to stay in your car at a safe distance. This is especially true when the calves are involved.
Get out and have an adventure or two!