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Purple flowers in a field of grass

Visit The Prairies

Several prairies are very easy to visit and can accommodate all ages and abilities. Two of the largest prairies in the South Puget Sound are managed by Washington state and are open to the public. Directions to these prairies are given below. You might also want to visit Thurston County's Glacial Heritage Preserve, which is open on a limited basis. A good way to visit Glacial Heritage, or any of the other prairies is to join a volunteer group. For more information please see our volunteer page.

Many prairie enthusiasts believe that the wildflower displays of May and early June are the best times on the prairies. The acres and acres of purple camas flowers are always a sight. Yet each season has its draw. Spring has wildflowers and the possibility of a rare butterfly. Summer can also have fantastic butterfly displays and the hot dry days are a pleasure. Fall brings rains, a turn in the color of oak leaves and is a great time to help with a restoration project. The open skies of a sunny, winter morning or afternoon can make a visit worthwhile.

Another opportunity to visit the prairies and work with others concerned for their preservation and restoration is the annual Prairie Appreciation Day.  Please see the website to learn about the next event.


Mima mounds

Scatter Creek Wildlife Area

Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve

Scatter Creek Wildlife Area offers two different sites to visit, one featuring a prairie and other acreage being forested.  The land is used for many different activities such as hunting and fishing, and a vehicle use permit is required. See the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website for more information.

Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve is 637 acres in size and contains the best remaining examples of the unique Mima Mounds. An interpretive trail, suitable for the disabled, meanders through the eerie mounds and great prairie. Longer walks are also available. The Preserve is open to the public everyday. More information can be obtained from the WA Dept. of Natural Resources (360)596-5144.


Directions: Exit I-5 at Littlerock. Drive west one block, then turn south on Case Road. Continue on Case Road, crossing Scatter Creek, to 180th Street. Turn right on 180th , which leads to the Wildlife Area parking lot.

Directions: Exit I-5 at Littlerock. Drive west through Littlerock and continue on 128th Avenue SW until it ends at an intersection with Waddell Creek Road. Turn right on Waddell Creek Road. The Mima Mounds entrance will be on the left.

A map to Mima Mounds

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