Little Tarkio Prairie

Driving Directions

From Mound City take Highway 59 north 4 miles, then Graystone Road (0.75 mile past Route C) north 1.50 miles to the parking lot on the west side of the road.


This area is mostly grassland with some forest and a 15-acre prairie.

About This Area

The Conservation Department purchased this area in 1999 to protect its remaining prairie habitat. The area contains 15 acres of high quality prairie, one of the last remnants of this type of habitat in the Glaciated Plains of northwestern Missouri. The prairie, located in the southeastern corner of the conservation area, features a diverse prairie flora on loess soils. These soils were deposited here by wind during an arid period following the retreat of the glaciers.

Extensive prairies once stretched over one-third of Missouri and dominated the northwestern part of the state. Holt County was originally 60 percent prairie.

The first visitors to these extensive grasslands were French explorers. They named them prairies, the French word for a meadow.

Little Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area lies at the headwaters of Little Tarkio Creek. Tarkio is the Native American word for walnut.

Little Tarkio Prairie Natural Area is a 15-acre unplowed prairie immediately southwest of the parking lot. Very few unplowed prairies exist in northern Missouri. Wildflower displays are especially notable from mid-May to late June.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Demonstrations  This area contains 15 acres high quality prairie, one of the last remnants of this type of habitat in the Glaciated Plains of Northwest Missouri 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Pheasant Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Little Tarkio Prairie Natural Area 15.00 acres Natural areas provides additional information.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Grassland (non-prairie) 99.00 Restored Prairie. 
Forest and Woodland 15.00  
Native Prairie 15.00 High quality remnant prairie 
Total Area Acres:129.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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