Schneph Wildlife Area

This is one of the finest examples of a gravel flat to rolling native prairie in Iowa. The Ocheyedan River runs through the site and looks quite straight as in 1910 mule trains hauled coal to run the steam engine that dredged it.

If you approach from the north side (south of Hwy 9 on Sorrel Avenue and 160th) the trail from the parking lot takes you through the trees out into the prairie.

Prairie History

Rolling hills and open sky, the tallgrass prairie stretched on to reach the horizon. The earliest settlers stayed close to the forest edges, where they could cut trees for building materials, fences and fuel. After the Civil War, there was a major push of pioneers into the prairies. Once there it took less than a decade to transform the frontier into an agricultural land.

Location Description

On the rolling moraine you will find rare surprises like Green milkweed, Prairie bush clover, the Dakota skipper and the Blanding’s turtle. Hunting on the uplands for deer and pheasant is allowed. There is an artificial wetland in the dammed ravine that is about .25 acres. The south end has a railroad track that may some day become a trail.

Driving Directions and other Information

  • Take Hwy 9 west from Ocheyedan to Sorrel Avenue, turn south, travel 2 miles to 160th where you will find the parking lot.
  • GPS Coordinants - 43 25.037 95 36.243
  • 103 acres - Osceola County Conservation Board
  • Hiking, Prairie Plants, Birding, Hunting

Educational Activity:

  • Land turtle/Blandings Turtle
  • Specific Habitat needed -- NatureScope?

Visit Wolter’s Prairie/Ely Baurermeister Wildlife Area via Google Map by Clicking HERE!

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