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.




  • No portable toilets are available at this time, unless requested in advance. Please visit the page Education at Irvine Prairie for information on how to register a group and request a portable toilet.
  • 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.


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. Prairie plantings are habitat for ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are sensitive to disturbance.
  • 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