Prairie Home Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Prairie Home, take Route J west 0.50 miles, then Route W south 2 miles to the area.


This upland area has three lakes with 19 acres of fishable water. Johnson Lake has fishing jetties, a disabled-accessible fishing dock, parking, and a privy. The area has over 7 miles of hiking trails and more than 6 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and horseback riding.

About This Area

Prairie Home Conservation Area, located in eastern Cooper County, is an upland area with a mix of oldfields, small cropfields, grasslands, and woodlands.

The original acquisition in 1963 included 212 acres in the northwest corner of the area. In 1997, Allen and Wilda Johnson donated funds earmarked for resource management that resulted in the construction of three lakes that range in size from three to 11 acres. Their generous donation provides habitat for fish, reptiles, amphibians, waterfowl, waterbirds, and songbirds.

Area users enjoy opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.  For the hunting enthusiast, the area supports deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit and quail. Hikers and birders find a seasonal array of migrant and resident songbirds including summer tanagers, woodpeckers, vireos, warblers, and sparrows.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Camping - Individual Campsites  Four camping areas. No amenities provided.  
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Hiking  Seven and one-third miles of trail is available year-round. The entire conservation area is open to hunting so trail users should be aware of hunting season dates and times.  
Horseback Riding  A multi-use trail with approximately 6.1 miles of trail is available year-round. The entire conservation area is open to hunting so trail users should be aware of hunting season dates and times.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Archery and firearms antlerless-only permits not valid - closed during antlerless portion.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No amenities provided.  
Dock - FishingaccessibleJohnson Lake  Disabled user accessible 
Fishing Jetty/Platform Johnson Lake   
Parking Lotaccessible  Parking Lot #1, located at Johnson Lake, is disabled-accessible.  
Privy/RestroomaccessibleJohnson Lake   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Johnson Lake 12.00 acres Fishing jetties and disabled-accessible fishing dock.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Cattail Lake 4.00 acres 100 yard walk from nearest parking lot.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Church Lake 3.00 acres 150 yard walk from nearest parking lot  
Stream - Intermittent Schaaf Creek 3.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Crop Land 160.00  
Glade 20.00  
Old Field 849.00  
Savanna 20.00  
Lakes/Ponds 22.00  
Native Prairie 40.00 Scattered Prairie Remnants 
Forest and Woodland 300.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 50.00  
Total Area Acres:1460.82 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 7.00 
Multi-use Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Horse) 5.50 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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