Site Details

Cayler Prairie State Preserve - Dickinson County

GPS Coordinates: 43.3963168, -95.2439117

Management: Multiple

Description: A huge complex (nearly 1500 acres) of native prairie--a State Preserve & National Natural Landmark surrounded by or linked to other state and federal public lands, all situated on rolling glacial moraine along the Little Sioux River, especially good for grassland birds.

Habitat: Cayler Prairie is relatively pristine native prairie. Surrounding public lands formerly were pastured or cropped but now are naturally recovering as prairie or have been replanted to prairie grasses and forbs. Santee Prairie, a large federal area 1 mi. north of Cayler Prairie (but part of the complex) has many restored potholes wetlands and native prairie.

Directions: In northwestern Dickinson Co. Take IA Hwy 9 west 3.5 miles from intersection with IA Hwy 86, then turn south on 170th Ave. and go 2 mi. south on gravel road to parking lot on west side of preserve. OR, from the west side of West Okoboji Lake, take A-22 west from Hwy. 86, 3.5 miles to 170th Ave. Go north on 170th a little more than 1.5 miles to the parking area on the right, after 180th St. (both streets and avenues are numbered in Dickinson). A .pdf map of Cayler Prairie is found at:

Public Hunting Area Search for area boundary information on the DNR interactive atlas

Important Bird Area: IBA Entry for Cayler Prairie State Preserve