|Camden State Park & Prairie Marshes WMA|
Camden State Park lies on the second highest and easternmost moraine in the Coteau des Prairie. Located in a beautiful wooded valley of the Redwood River, Camden State Park is an oasis in an area of intensive agriculture, offering rich riparian woodland and restored prairie.
Hole-in-the-Mountain WMA & County Park
|Description: These 3 areas are remnants of what was once a 4,300-acre prairie landscape. They are situated on a steep valley along the outer edge of the Coteau des Prairie, a flat highland that formed by glaciers between the James and Des Moines River basins. Its plant communities include 200 species of wild flowers, such as the small white lady’s slipper, goldenrod, purple prairie clover, blazing star and purple coneflower as well as 60 species of native grasses. The prairie valley is the headwaters of Flandreau Creek, which runs in a southwesterly direction toward the Big Sioux River. Native Americans called the half-mile-wide valley "Mountain Pass" or "Hole-in-the-Mountain." The WMA consists of two separate tracts that are grass/open lands mixed with some wetlands and some native prairie. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Preserve’s undulating terrain is carpeted in wildflowers during summer.|
Wildlife to Watch: You could spend a whole day watching the many common and rare butterflies fluttering among the wildflowers of Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie. This prairie provides habitat to more than 25 butterfly species including Threatened and Endangered species. This spot is one of the state's few remaining areas suitable for the Dakota Skipper, a Threatened Species. It is dependent on undisturbed, mid-grass prairies with purple coneflower.
The preserve also provides excellent habitat for grassland songbirds and nesting waterfowl. The prairie ridge offers raptor after raptor during spring migration. Species present in the area include: Wilson's snipe; savannah, vesper and clay colored sparrows; meadowlarks, bobolinks and dickcissels. You may also spot a Richardson's ground squirrel or a Blanding's turtle. In contrast, the County Park also hosts woods and thickets, providing habitat for woodland birds.
Special Tips: Hunting allowed in WMA.
Ownership: WMA, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Lincoln County
Size: WMA 639 acres TNC 1,368 acres County Park 800 acres
Closest Town: Lake Benton
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: