Five Ridge Prairie State Preserve

15561 260th Street
Westfield, IA 51062


Five Ridge Prairie is located at the northern end of the Loess Hills and features mainly prairie and woodland ecosystems. It spans narrow ridges that are separated by wooded valleys, and loess hills dominates the landscape. They were created when winds blew silt deposited from glacial activity between 30,000 and 12,000 years ago. The preserve also features 80 million to 90 million-year-old bedrock deposits. The prairies on the preserve are on the major ridges and are occupied by grasses like little bluestem and sideoats gama. The woodlands of the preserve are occupied by bur oak. Around 300 species of plants grow on the preserve, starting with blooms of pasqueflower in March. May and June welcome forbs on the ridges like blue-eyed grass and hoary puccoon and bloodroot and bellwort in the woodlands. There are also 89 bird species that call the preserve home, including vesper sparrow and blue grosbeak. Forty-nine butterflies and twenty mammals have been recorded here, with species including the white-footed mouse, as well as reptiles and amphibians like the Great Plains toad and the hognose snake. Visitors are allowed to hunt.

Five Ridge Prairie State Preserve was purchased by the Plymouth County Conservation Board in 1981 and it became a biological and geological state preserve in 1986.

Fees, permits, and reservations may apply.

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