Mixed-grass Prairies of Central and Western Nebraska

This listing of 19 public-access sites are good examples of mixed-grass prairies in central and western Nebraska. These exclude some transitional mixed-grass-shortgrass prairies that occur in far-western Nebraska, such as Oglala National Grassland, Scotts Bluff National Monument, the Pine Ridge National Recreation Area, Soldier Creek Wilderness and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.

Title Category Address Description
Ash Hollow State Historical Park 41.295, -102.121 From exposed rocky bluffs that are used by great horned owls, American kestrels, and sometimes prairie falcons, through grassy wet meadows where bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks are present, to riparian wooded habitats used by warbling vireos and other wooded habitats songbirds.
Ashfall State Historical Park 42.422, -98.158 The area is mostly range country, with grassland species most common, including upland sandpipers. However, rock wrens often can be seen near the excavation site.
Pressey Wildlife Management Area 41.183, -99.708 Consists of 1700 acres of land, including hills and steep canyons mostly covered by grasslands of the South Loup Valley. Diverse habitat types include riparian woodland, wetlands, native prairie, and agricultural areas.
Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area 42.36, -98.107 Mainly mixed hardwoods and grasslands along Verdigre Creek. This is rolling grassland, with scattered trees along East Verdigre Creek.
Soldier Creek Wilderness 42.695, -103.569 This is a large roadless area west of Fort Robinson State Park that has an extensive hiking trail network, as well as bridle trails.
Ponca State Park 42.617, -96.723 This park is mostly forested with stands of bur oak, walnut, hackberry and elms; one of the oaks is more than 300 years old. A bird list of 297 species includes the park plus adjoining parts of northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota and northwest Iowa.
Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge 42.883, -100.445 This refuge, originally established to protect bison and other large game animals, lies on the western edge of the east-west ecological transition zone between forest types, and thus has a fine mixture of eastern and western avifauna.
Smith Falls State Park 42.889, -100.315 Area 244 acres. The river can be crossed by a footbridge for a view of the falls.
Willa Cather Memorial Prairie 40.009, -98.52 The Cather Prairie is a 609 acre tract of grazed but unbroken mixed-grass prairie that is owned and maintained by the Cather Foundation. This preserve is open to the public and is a fine example of the native grassland that once covered Nebraska.
Pine Glen Wildlife Management Area 42.673, -99.7 Consists of 960 acres of canyons, a trout stream, and mixed grasslands and wooded habitats.
Niobrara Valley Preserve 42.786, -100.038 Area 56,000 acres, including about 25 miles of the Niobrara River, in the heart of the transition zone between western coniferous and eastern deciduous forest types.
Thomas Creek Wildlife Management Area 42.765, -99.691 Steep topography around Thomas Creek, with grassland on the hills and wooded creek-bottom.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site 41.703, -103.347 An old cemetery lies to the northwest of Chimney Rock, and burrowing owls are often found in a nearby prairie dog colony. Lazuli buntings are common in brushy areas.
Keller School Land WMA and Keller Park State Recreation Area 42.668, -99.774 These areas consist of native prairie, wooded canyons, Bone Creek, and five small fishing ponds stocked with trout and other game fish.