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Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center

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Address: 9981 Pacific St, Prairie City, IA 50228-7820
Phone Number:
+1 515-994-3400
Description:

This is the largest prairie reconstruction project in the United States.

This is the largest prairie reconstruction project in the United States.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 56 reviews
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  • 32
    Excellent
  • 18
    Very good
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Connect to Nature

Great place for kids. A little barren in the winter but an interesting place. Iowa nature is more beautiful than expected.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
craig19852014
,
Iowa
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56 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 56: English reviews
Iowa
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great place for kids. A little barren in the winter but an interesting place. Iowa nature is more beautiful than expected.

Helpful?
Thank craig19852014
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
106 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2016

The center is very interactive and really good education for kids. Lots of info regarding Iowa in the very early years and small games for kids to play. There is a full sized buffalo in the center to see and touch. You have to take the car ride around the grounds and try to spy the buffalo and other live... More 

Helpful?
Thank Denise B
Runnells, Iowa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2016 via mobile

This is a nice place to view wildlife and hike. It's a very pleasant afternoon. Very pretty area especially when the flowers are in bloom. Stop here and go eat at Goldie's very nearby.

Helpful?
Thank juward7
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
111 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2016

I was driving home when I decided to visit the Refuge. The signs are misleading from I-80. One sign states it is 8 miles to the refuge, a short way down the road, the road states 10 miles. At any rate, I wanted to check out the buffalo. I did not stop at the learning center as I plan to... More 

Helpful?
Thank torpdo
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2016 via mobile

We saw Neal Smith wildlife refuge on the atlas map on a westward trip. It was a cloudy July day. Amazing place. Visitor center was excellent and informative. Hike on trail loaded with blooming flowers and birds. And we saw a herd of bison. Did driving tour and saw more bison and the elk. Cool weather helped us. Great stop... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank nsilld
Milo, Iowa
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2016

First time visiting the refuge. Took the auto tour, saw nothing but got covered with dirt and dust from the gravel roads. We thought we would see something but not one animal, not even a rabbit could be seen. Very disappointing waste of time and gas. Acres and acres of prairie weeds was the only thing around. I wouldn't discourage... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank angelwn2016
Palatine, Illinois
Level Contributor
71 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2016 via mobile

As we drove through the refuge I was having a hard time understanding the difference between tall grass and shortgrass prairie except for the size. We went through this very interesting to see all the different types of natural flowers and grasses. We didn't have time to go through the Nature Center. We will add that to the list of... More 

Helpful?
Thank TravingJim
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2016

For those interested in seeing how the Great Plains looked in its natural state until the beginning of the 19th century, and learning how it has changed since that time, the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center is a must see experience. Located just nine miles south of Interstate 80 as you are approaching Des Moines, Iowa, the... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Harry D
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2016

We stopped here with my daughter and her children, the oldest being 7. We began our visit with a short, informative film in the auditorium. As a former teacher, I highly recommend this as an excellent educational opportunity for families visiting in the central Iowa area, or passing through. There is a sign for the refuge right along I-80. The... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy S
Wyoming
Level Contributor
168 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2015

After driving all the way from Toronto, then via the south end of Lake Michigan in pouring rains all day, hoping to get here just to spend a couple of hours walking around waiting for my husband's flight so we could drive on to our next stop in Nebraska, I followed the detour signs down wet, muddy roads, made a... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank okaugust

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