Huron Wetland Management District
Mountain-Prairie Region
Prairie Jewels

 

 

Maga-Ta-Hohpi
Maga-Ta-Hohpi WPA

 

 

Maga-Ta-Hopi WPA

Maga-Ta-Hopi is the closest WPA to Huron, with 1,455 acres to explore. Located 7 miles west of Huron, the WPA boasts over 2 miles of mowed and paved walking trails. The ½ mile of paved trail with interpretive signage is accessible from the parking lot immediately south of the Huron WMD shop facilities, ¾ miles north of the junction of Highway 14 and 392nd Ave. These trails provide a unique prairie experience, as walking trails are particularly rare in grassland habitats. If you enjoy traversing by GPS or compass, pick up instructions and locations for the GPS/Compass trail at the information kiosk located at the parking lot on Highway 14.  As you head northwest on the trail, you will arrive at an observation deck that overlooks the largest wetland on the WPA. The trail then winds north to the little red school house. Maga-Ta-Hohpi WPA is also home to the Huron Prairie Fest, an annual free educational opportunity for the whole family.

 

Pronghorn Antelope
Pronghorn Antelope

 

 

Harter WPA

(Located 11 miles southwest of Highmore, SD at the intersection of 205th Street and 333rd Ave)

One of the District's newest WPAs, Harter WPA was purchased in 2003. Previously owned by conservationist, June Harter, the rolling terrain and expansive mixed-grass prairie of Harter WPA provides habitat for pronghorn, sharp-tailed grouse, upland sandpipers, and chestnut-collared longspurs among many others.

Beaver
American Beaver

 

 

Cain Creek WPA

(Located 7 miles south of Huron at the intersection of 216th street and 399th Ave)

With a densely wooded area on the north edge and a winding creek making its way through the entire WPA, Cain Creek WPA provides an opportunity to see a diversity of wildlife. Beavers are present on the creek and the wooded area is an excellent area to look and listen for warblers, vireos, woodpeckers, flycatchers, chickadees, nuthatches, and thrushes amongst others.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

 

 

LeClaire WPA

(Located 13 miles northwest of Iroquois, SDat the intersection of 198th Street and 415th Ave)

If you are looking for a great place to view waterfowl, LeClaire WPA is one of the best places to be. The semi-permanent wetland that traverses the entire WPA from north to south stays particularly attractive to waterfowl in dry years, as it very seldom goes dry.

American Avocet
American Avocet

 

 

Bauer WPA

(Located 13 miles east of Huron at the intersection of 207th Street and 413th Ave)

Canada geese and waterfowl are abundant on Bauer WPA during wet years. But the WPA is also a great place to bird during dry years for shorebirds! The open shorelines and mud flats on Bauer WPA provide optimal habitat for migrating shorebirds, particularly during late summer and early fall when the wetlands have drawn down after the snow melt and spring rains.

purple prairie clover
Purple Prairie Clover

 

 

Trechler WPA

(Located 8 miles west of Orient, SD at the intersection of 173rd Street and 348th Ave)

Located in the northwest corner of Hand County, Trechler WPA is a good spot to look for wildflowers. Plan a trip during the spring and look for pasque flower, daisy fleabane, wood lily, goatsbeard, purple coneflower, and prairie smoke. Or visit during the summer to see sunflowers, prairie clover, common yarrow, golden aster, prairie coneflower, silverleaf scurfpea, American vetch, scarlet globemallow, wooly verbena, and wavyleaf thistle (a native, non-noxious thistle). In the fall, goldenrods and milkweed still abound.

Winter WPA
Winter WPA

 

 

Winter WPA

(Located 16 miles northeast of Gann Valley, SD at the intersection of 221st Street and 366th Ave)

If quiet reflection in a tranquil environment is what you are looking for, Winter WPA may be just the place you are looking for. Hike up to the hilltop overlooking the lake below, and all you see around you is solitude and waving grass. It's the perfect place when you just need to get away.

Prairie Chicken
Prairie Chicken

Campbell WPA

(Located 15 miles southeast of Miller, SD at the intersection of 208th Street and 356th Ave)

If you are looking for the elusive prairie chicken, Campbell WPA is one of your best bets. A lek is located nearby and sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens can both be found on the WPA, as well as a great variety of other wildlife. In addition, the prairie has never been disturbed, so native plants can be found just as they were hundreds of years ago. Campbell WPA also showcases a neat wetland complex with a nesting island during wet years.

 

 

Last updated: February 22, 2011