Tallgrass Prairie Center


Irvine Prairie Visitors Policy

Operating Hours


Irvine Prairie is open sunrise to sunset daily.


Map and Parking


  • Find a map and directions to Irvine Prairie on Google Maps.
  • Small unmarked grass parking area on the south side of the road near the large rock.
  • Parking is limited; please do not block neighboring driveways or the parking entrance.
  • The road to the site is gravel and may not be passable during spring thaw or after heavy rain or snowfall.
  • Mowed trails at Irvine Prairie will double as fire breaks for prescribed burning. See map below. Note that trails only exist through the areas that have been planted to prairie (See 5 year plan on the Restoration and Land Management page). Some of the trails marked on this map are proposed for future years.

aerial view of Irvine Prairie with mowed firebreak trails marked




  • A portable toilet is available April - October. 
  • There are no picnic tables, shelters, or trash receptacles - please bring a blanket if you would like to have a picnic, and a bag to carry out your trash.
  • Please pick up after your pet on the trails.  


Field trips/tour groups


For field trips and/or tour groups, please give advance notice so we can do our best to accommodate your needs for a portable toilet or guide. Visit the page Education at Irvine Prairie for more information and to register a tour or field trip.


Please observe the following guidelines when visiting:

Two leashed Newfoundland dogs follow the trail through the prairie with a view of the silo mural

  • Explore the mowed trails through the prairie, but stay off all adjacent row-cropped agricultural fields.
  • Leashed dogs are welcomed, but clean up after your pet on the trails.
  • Prairie plantings are habitat for ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are sensitive to disturbance; please keep your pet on the trail.
  • Bring a bag and carry out your trash.
  • No dumping.
  • No smoking.
  • Alcohol use is prohibited.
  • No hunting, firearms, fireworks, camping, or campfires.
  • No bicycles or motorized vehicles – native plants and research sites are easily trampled.
  • Do not disturb or remove any plants, seeds, animals, or other material such as soil and rocks without prior permission.
  • Do not disturb or remove any research materials such as poles and flags.
  • Do not introduce any plants or seeds or release any animals at the prairie.


photo credit: Jana Eilderts, an Irvine Prairie visitor


Suggested activities for various times of the year


  • Sit, relax, and enjoy the view
  • Have a picnic
  • Fly a kite
  • Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding
  • Look for monarch caterpillars and butterflies
  • Meet new prairie plants (best observed on your hands and knees!)
  • Meditate
  • Photography, nature-inspired art and journaling
  • Walk and explore