Golden Prairie, Barton County

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This site forms the anchor of the Grasslands Coalition’s Golden Focus Area in Barton County. The original 320 acres of Golden Prairie were saved by MPF between 1970 and 1975 and was declared a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in May 1975. A portion of Golden Prairie has also been nominated to be included in the Missouri Natural Areas program, a designation reserved for only the highest quality natural landscapes.

A total of 310 acres were added in 2002 and are being restored. In addition, 480 acres to the west of the original Golden Prairie is cooperatively managed by the neighboring private landowner. In effect, 1,100 acres are now managed as a unit.

A total of 345 plant species have been recorded at Golden Prairie and greater prairie-chickens have been photographed extensively on the site. Read our 2014 Golden Prairie Floristic Integrity Report here.

Directions: Golden Prairie is located in Barton County on SE 90th Road, about 2 miles south of Golden City. Traveling north on I-49, take exit 66, turn east onto State Highway K, and drive about 8.5 miles.  Turn left onto SE 90th Lane, drive 2 miles north, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 1/2 mile west. Traveling south on I-49, take exit 70, turn east onto Missouri 126, and drive about 6 miles.  Turn right onto State Highway T, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 2 1/2 miles east. The prairie is on the south side of the road.  Two gravel parking areas are available.

To visit the sandstone prairie on the east side of the property, use GPS N37 21.918 W94 8.745 (in decimal degrees, 37.365300, -094.145750).  To visit the limestone prairie on the west side of the property, use GPS N37 21.929 W94 9.285 (in decimal degrees, 37.365483, -94.154750).