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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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Cameras/binoculars a must!

We drove into the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and were able to view the bison up fairly close to the car. We didn't see any elk the day we went, but that didn't ruin our... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
858sharlae
,
Warminster, Pennsylvania
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60 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 60: English reviews
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We drove into the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge and were able to view the bison up fairly close to the car. We didn't see any elk the day we went, but that didn't ruin our experience. We saw a pheasant and a bunch of 12 striped ground squirrels as well. After driving through the bison area, we headed over to... More 

Helpful?
Thank 858sharlae
Stockbridge, Georgia
Level Contributor
138 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Although our free time was limited by scheduled events, we found it entirely worth the hour to tour the Learning Center, see the movie, and drive through the reclaimed area of prairie. Good, clean family fun!

Helpful?
Thank Wayne K
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 March 2017 via mobile

Loved the 2 mile loop trail. We were relatively close to the buffalo though we got closer when we did the auto path. It was an easy paved trail all the way. Nice afternoon out with the family.

Helpful?
1 Thank Lorena H
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
374 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017

This is a large restored prairie with buffalo roaming the grass land. There is a modern learning center with professional displays and rangers who guide you to video displays. You can walk in the bufferfly garden and go on long trail exploring walks. The prairie grass grows about 4 feet tall and grows about 4 feet down into the soil.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank david_hance_iowa
Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 January 2017

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

Helpful?
1 Thank craig19852014
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
106 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
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?
1 Thank Denise B
Runnells, Iowa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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?
1 Thank juward7
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
125 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
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?
1 Thank torpdo
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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?
2 Thank nsilld
Milo, Iowa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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

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