The spectacular panoramic vista of Prairie State Park is a sea of grass strewn with the colors of ever-changing wildflowers. In spring, bouquets of yellow-star grass and Indian paintbrush set the stage for the courtship dance of the prairie chicken. Growing taller each day, summer wildflowers include pale purple coneflower, Mead’s milkweed and prairie blazing star. By fall, grasses such as big bluestem and Indian grass may reach 8 feet high.
Enjoy the beauty and solitude of the prairie by hiking one of the park’s five trails, which offer excellent opportunities for bird watching, photography and viewing wildlife and wildflowers. Check on the location of bison and elk at the visitor center before hiking. Prairie State Park’s visitor center is designed to enhance the visitor’s “prairie” experience with nature programs, interpretive displays and hands-on exhibits. Visitors may wish to extend the prairie experience by using the picnic area, small campground or primitive backpack camp.
Prairie State Park offers a small number of basic campsites and a backpack camp. These basic campsites will accommodate groups of up to 20 people. Potable water is available on the south side of the shop building before you enter the camping area and at the picnic area. Campfires are prohibited at the backpack camp.
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