Atop a small, gravelly hill sits a gem of a prairie that puts on summer-long flower shows and provides a fabulous view of the tallgrass prairie below.
- Beautiful, rare, remnant prairie with a grand view and great displays of flowers.
- Early May: Mayapple (on wooded east side) and, on the prairie, birdfoot violet, hoary puccoon, and shooting star
- Mid-May: Golden Alexander
- Late June: Golden prairie coreopsis, leadplant, and rattlesnake master
- August: Rough blazing star
Best Times to Visit:
- May through September for constant displays of wildflowers
Mike’s Thoughts: Shoe Factory Road Prairie is a pretty little thing. Just nine acres in all, it’s a diamond in the rough. Set high atop a gravelly kame at the north edge of Carl R. Hansen Woods, this virgin prairie-on-a-hill offers a wonderful view of the grassland to the south. Throughout the summer, flowers miraculously fill the gravelly spaces.
Notes: The preserve is most easily reached by parking in the gravel pull-off at the bottom of the west side of the hill (east of the railroad crossing). Park on either side of the road. Walk the wide trail that leads south. Then follow the sign to another trail that leads east up the hill to the entrance of Shoe Factory Road Prairie. The preserve is fenced in and there are entrances on the west and east ends.
Learn more about Show Factory Road Prairie from these websites: