Hayden Prairie State Preserve

Prairie Grass in breeze


Lime Springs, IA 52155


Howard County Conservation



Hayden Prairie State Preserve is 240 acres of tall grass prairie, the largest in eastern Iowa, and managed by the DNR’s Wildlife Bureau. This natural prairie is an attraction for a variety of wildlife, birds, and wildflowers.

Hayden Prairie is named after Dr. Ada Hayden, a former professor of botany at Iowa State University and a strong advocate of prairie preservation in Iowa. It is located near the towns of Lime Springs and Chester in northwest Howard County, about 5 miles south of the Minnesota border. Hayden Prairie is one of Iowa’s best prairie remnants. This 240-acre prairie, purchased in 1945 was the first prairie to be acquired by the state and in 1966 it was renamed a national registered landmark. Two years later Hayden Prairie was designated as a state preserve by the state of Iowa.