Little Tarkio Prairie

About this Area

For more information call
(816) 271-3100
Total Acres

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.

Things to do when you visit: 
  • Hunting
    • Quail,
    • Rabbit,
    • Deer
  • Bird Watching
  • Entry PointEntry Point
  • Natural AreaNatural Area
  • Parking LotParking Lot
  • BoundaryBoundary
  • MDC Road - ImprovedMDC Road - Improved

Hours of Operation

Area Hours
Sunday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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.
Area Regulations
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information