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green Lostwood Refuge Prairie Hiking Trail

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


7.8 mile 12.5 kilometer loop


Ascent: 286' 87 m
Descent: -305' -93 m
High: 2,443' 745 m
Low: 2,255' 687 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)


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Trail shared by Karen Ryberg


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This trail provides a scenic view of the Missouri Coteau, a landscape of rolling hills and wetlands.

Karen Ryberg

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The trail is open from early May through September.


A great loop with beautiful grassland scenery.

Need to Know

There is no shade on this hike.


Drive to the refuge headquarters, 21 miles north of Stanley, North Dakota, along State Highway 8. There is a large entrance sign just off the west side of the highway. A refuge brochure is available at headquarters.

The Prairie Hiking Trail can be found along the auto-tour route. Much of the trail is a two-track grass trail, and approximately 3 miles is on gravel, (access road and auto-tour route). The trail passes through beautiful grasslands with rolling hills and small ponds and wetlands.

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge is designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Birding Conservancy and the Audubon Society.

Flora & Fauna

Sprague's pipit, Baird's sparrows, marbled godwits, upland sandpipers, willets, blue-winged teal, sharp-tailed grouse, Richardson's ground squirrel, white-tailed deer, moose, and coyotes.

History & Background

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is the largest publicly-owned tracts of northern mixed-grass prairie in the United States and is one of over 540 refuges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At nearly 28,000 acres, this refuge provides key habitat for many unique species of grassland birds. Lostwood NWR is located in the physiographic region of North Dakota named the Missouri Coteau. Coteau is French for "little hill." This distinctive landscape of wetlands and rolling hills was shaped by glaciers. The glaciers melted away 10,000 years ago leaving behind a moraine or ridge of soil and rocks varying in width from 10 to 60 miles extending from southeast Alberta to northwest Iowa.

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Aug 24, 2013
Karen Ryberg
Fortunate to have an overcast day, otherwise this would have been a very hot hike in August. This would be a great hike during peak wildflower season.

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  5.0 from 1 vote


  5.0 from 1 vote
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