Anna Gronseth Prairie


Area and County

    Wilkin County
    Northwest Minnesota

Driving Directions

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1,299 acres


 Printable Map with GPS coordinates

Printable map    

There is no designated parking spot. Park along the shoulder of the road on 290th Ave. Do not block the nearby field access. It is not part of the preserve.

N46 25.433, W96 23.127

Hiking Trails

No maintained trails


No hunting

Ecological Classification Province  

Prairie Parkland Province

Ecological Classification

Red River Valley


Red River Prairie

Land Type Association(s)

Barnesville Beach Complex

Native Plant Communities1

Calcareous Fen (Northwestern)

Saline Wet Prairie Complex

Seepage Wetland Complex

Wet Prairie (Northern)

Ownership The Nature Conservancy logo    

The Nature Conservancy


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased 160 acres from Anna Gronseth in November, 1973, and named it Anna Gronseth Prairie. Between December, 1973 and March, 1999, THC made at least seven more acquisitions, each time enlarging this preserve. In 1993 TNC transferred a 648 acre parcel to the Minnesota DNR which became the Akron 4 Unit of the Rothsay Wildlife Management Area.

Wet Prairie
To get from the parking spot to the main portion of the preserve visitors will need to cross an intermittent stream and a drainage ditch. Many areas of the saline wet prairie complex will have some standing water in wet years, as in 2015. Waterproof footwear is recommended.

Rotten Egg Smell
In oxygen-poor environments, like wetlands, anaerobic bacteria reduce organic matter releasing as byproducts methane, which is odorless, and hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs. A rotten egg smell was conspicuous on a part of the saline wet prairie complex when I visited there in June, 2015.












Waterproof footwear recommended








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  Anna Gronseth Prairie   Anna Gronseth Prairie
  Park on the shoulder of the road. Do not park on the ditch crossing, as I did here. Though the landowner was kind enough to allow me to park here on this day, he needs this ditch crossing unblocked to access his field.    

Saline Wet Prairie Complex

  Anna Gronseth Prairie   Anna Gronseth Prairie
  Anna Gronseth Prairie    

Wet Prairie (Northern)

  Anna Gronseth Prairie    






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Visitor Observations
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American toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

American toad


Five bird species with conservation status in Minnesota and one tracked species have been seen here:



Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)


Special concern

Greater Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni)

Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)



Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)


Pine to Prairie Birding Trail

eBird Field Checklist


Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)

Bald Eagle

Red-winged Blackbird

Song Sparrow

Insects and Arachnids

One insect species with conservation status in Minnesota has been seen here:

Special concern

regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia)


American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

swamp milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis)



plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

plains pocket gopher


Five plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here and one species on the watch list are found here.



short ray fleabane (Erigeron lonchophyllus)


Special concern

deer sedge (Carex hallii)

pleated gentian (Gentiana affinis)

Rydberg’s sunflower (Helianthus nuttallii ssp. rydbergii)

small white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum)


Watch list

plains bluegrass (Poa arida)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Calcareous Fen (Northwestern) OPp93a

Wet Prairie (Northern) WPn53c



alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa)

alfalfa (Medicago sativa ssp. sativa)

American bugleweed (Lycopus americanus)

bald spikerush (Eleocharis erythropoda)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common rush (Juncus effusus)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

dwarf false indigo (Amorpha nana)

Flodman’s thistle (Cirsium flodmanii)

foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum ssp. jubatum)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

golden ragwort (Packera aurea)

heart-leaved golden alexanders (Zizia aptera)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

hemlock water-parsnip (Sium suave)

hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens)

Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)

leadplant (Amorpha canescens)

marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

marsh vetchling (Lathyrus palustris)

Maximilian’s sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

mountain death camas (Anticlea elegans var. elegans)

narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia)

needle-tip blue-eyed-grass (Sisyrinchium mucronatum)

northern bedstraw (Galium boreale)

pale agoseris (Agoseris glauca var. glauca)

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus)

plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides)

prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya)

prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prairie smoke (Geum triflorum var. triflorum)

prairie turnip (Pediomelum esculentum)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

seaside arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima)

Seneca snakeroot (Polygala senega)

silverweed (Argentina anserina)

smooth scouring rush (Equisetum laevigatum)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

starry false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida ssp. rigida)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum)

tall meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)

wild mint (Mentha arvensis)

wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia)

wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis)

wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis)

woolly sedge (Carex pellita)

yellow goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius)

yellow star grass (Hypoxis hirsuta)

yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)


Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Agoseris glauca var. glauca (pale agoseris)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia psilostachya (western ragweed)

Amorpha canescens (leadplant)

Amorpha nana (dwarf false indigo)

Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)

Anticlea elegans var. elegans (mountain death camas)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)

Argentina anserina (silverweed)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Carduus acanthoides (plumeless thistle)

Carex pellita (woolly sedge)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium flodmanii (Flodman’s thistle)

Cirsium muticum (swamp thistle)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive)

Eleocharis erythropoda (bald spikerush)

Equisetum laevigatum (smooth scouring rush)

Erigeron philadelphicus var. philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane)

Erigeron strigosus (prairie fleabane)

Galium boreale (northern bedstraw)

Geum triflorum var. triflorum (prairie smoke)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian’s sunflower)

Hordeum jubatum ssp. jubatum (foxtail barley)

Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass)

Juncus effusus (common rush)

Lathyrus palustris (marsh vetchling)

Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya (prairie blazing star)

Lithospermum canescens (hoary puccoon)

Lycopus americanus (American bugleweed)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false Solomon’s seal)

Medicago sativa ssp. sativa (alfalfa)

Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)

Mentha arvensis (wild mint)

Packera aurea (golden ragwort)

Pedicularis canadensis ssp. canadensis (wood betony)

Pediomelum esculentum (prairie turnip)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Polygala senega (Seneca snakeroot)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Scutellaria galericulata (marsh skullcap)

Sisyrinchium mucronatum (needle-tip blue-eyed-grass)

Sium suave (hemlock water-parsnip)

Solidago rigida ssp. rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Symphoricarpos occidentalis (wolfberry)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (tall meadow rue)

Tragopogon dubius (yellow goat’s beard)

Triglochin maritima (seaside arrowgrass)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Verbesina alternifolia (wingstem)

Zizia aptera (heart-leaved golden alexanders)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)

black-eyed susan

Canada anemone

common dandelion

Flodman’s thistle

golden alexanders

hedge bindweed

hoary puccoon


mountain death camas (var. elegans)

pale agoseris

prairie smoke

prairie rose

spotted water hemlock

swamp milkweed

swamp thistle

wood betony

yellow sweet clover




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