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Plan Your Visit

Monarch Butterfly

Directions, Address & Contact Info

44843 County Road 19
Odessa, MN 56276
320-273-2191 
northerntallgrassprairie@fws.gov 

The Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge is a mosaic of land scattered across western Minnesota and Iowa. The refuge owns eight units that are open to the public, and manages 41 additional privately-owned easements which are not open to the public. The refuge’s office is located at Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge near Ortonville, Minnesota.

Each of the eight refuge units are managed by staff at the nearest wetland management district or national wildlife refuge. The eight units include:

Rengstorf, in Otter tail County, Minnesota; managed by Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, 18965 County Hwy. 82, Fergus Falls, MN 56537, 218-739-2291

Bittbender, in Otter tail County, Minnesota; managed by Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, 18965 County Hwy. 82, Fergus Falls, MN 56537, 218-739-2291

Gislason Lake, in Lincoln County, Minnesota; managed by Big Stone Wetland Management District, 44843 County Rd. 19, Odessa, MN 56276, 320-273-2191

Jessen, in Lincoln County, Minnesota; managed by Big Stone Wetland Management District, 44843 County Rd. 19, Odessa, MN 56276, 320-273-2191

Touch the Sky, in Rock County, Minnesota; managed by Windom Wetland Management District, 49663 County Rd. 17, Windom, MN 56101, 507-831-2220

Green Muhly, in Stevens County, Minnesota; managed by Morris Wetland Management District, 43875 230th St., Morris, MN 56267, 320-589-1001

Prairie Smoke, in Kossuth County, Iowa; managed by Union Slough Wetland Management District, 1710 360th St., Titonka, IA 50480, 515-928-2523

Southeast, in Jasper County, Iowa; managed by Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, 9981 Pacific St., Prairie City, IA 50228, 515-994-3400

Points of Interest

Each unit of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a wonderful chance to explore a rare native ecosystem. Although most offer quiet, reflective walks through the prairie with no facilities, several locations have information kiosks, interpretive panels and trails. The ‘Touch the Sky’ unit in Rock County, MN offers trails and several kiosks with interpretive signs for visitors. Other units are in the process of developing visitor contact sites. Check this site periodically for updated information.

Know Before You Go

The tallgrass prairie region is one of extremes. Temperatures can drop to well below -20°F in the winter months and rise above 90°F during the summer; warmer months also bring fast-moving thunderstorms. Please dress appropriately for the season and wear layers. Hats are always a good idea, for warmth and shade. Keep an eye on the sky and check the weather forecast before your outing, as daily weather conditions can bring dramatic change. Warm weather also brings out the mosquitoes and ticks, so bring insect repellent. Prairies, by nature, offer little shade, so sunscreen is always a good idea.

Last Updated: Aug 07, 2012
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