Have you imagined what it was like in the earliest days of the Midwest, when there were still elk and bison in Iowa, and the rolling prairie stretched for as far as the eye could see? Luckily, there’s still one patch of preserved prairie that feels like a step back in time. Visit this beautiful wildlife refuge to see for yourself.

To plan your visit to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, check their website for hours and admission. The auto tour, roads and trails are open every day from dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center is open from March 1 to November 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. From December 1 to February 28, hours are Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and they are closed on Sunday.

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