Get Directions to Theodore Stone Preserve
See important “Notes” below.
Here lies a tale of two prairies: one, a tallgrass prairie, dense and looming, soft in soil; the other, rare and rocky, where stunted plants rooted in dolomite limestone grow few and far between.
- Rare dolomite prairie on the east side
- Tallgrass prairie on the west side
- Wetland by the entrance
- Woodland around the edges that are in the early stages of restoration
- Frequent morning fog
- September: Rough Blazing Star
Best Times to Visit:
- Summer: Wildflowers in the prairies
Mike’s Thoughts: Theodore Stone Preserve effectively features two restored prairies. Beginning at the trailhead at the western edge of the preserve, the path crosses a wetland and leads you into a traditional tallgrass prairie. Along this narrow grassland trail, you’re engulfed within a throng of towering grasses and forbs that shoot up from the soft black soil.
When the path reaches the slight ridge that divides the preserve, even a nature newbie as green as the prairie can tell that something has changed. Suddenly, the same plants that would normally touch your chest barely reach your knees. Visually impenetrable space opens up to reveal the ground—a ground made of rock, dolomite limestone to be precise. Under these hard conditions, growth and propagation are stunted—common for this globally uncommon habitat known as a dolomite prairie. And though the plants may be smaller, they are no less beautiful.
Notes: Park at the very end of the main lot located on the west side of the preserve. A mowed trail begins at the kiosk. Follow it for about 500 feet across a silvery aluminum bridge and into the prairie.
Learn more about Theodore Stone Preserve from these websites: