Prairie Creek Woods SNA

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Area and County

Rice County





93 acres

Printable map

Printable Map with GPS coordinates


Road Shoulder
N44 21.760, W93 5.852

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
N44 20.606, W93 6.382

(see Comments below)

Hiking Trails

No maintained trails


Muzzleloader deer only by permit, in conjunction with Nerstrand Big Woods State Park See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.

Ecological Classification


Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Classification


Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal


Oak Savanna

Land Type Association(s)

Hayfield Till Plain

Native Plant Communities1

Southern Mesic Maple-Basswood Forest

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest

Southern Terrace Forest

Southern Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forest

Ownership Minnesota DNR logo        

Minnesota DNR


This SNA lies within Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

Parking on the shoulder at the curve in the road, which the Minnesota DNR suggests, is not safe for you or for other drivers who will not see your car until they are almost upon it. Park instead in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and hike to the SNA.






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Kirk Nelson

  Prairie Creek Woods SNA   Prairie Creek Woods SNA




  Prairie Creek Woods SNA   Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Wood Routed Sign

  Prairie Creek Woods SNA    

Deer Exclusion Fence

  Prairie Creek Woods SNA    

Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest

  Prairie Creek Woods SNA   Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Intermittent Stream

  Prairie Creek Woods SNA    









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American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Indigo Bunting

Fungi and Lichens

Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)

Black Knot

Insects and Arachnids

multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis f. succinea)

multicolored Asian lady beetle


eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

eastern chipmunk


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:



Minnesota dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Southern Mesic Maple-Basswood Forest MHs39

Southern Mesic Oak-Basswood Forest MHs38

Southern Terrace Forest FFs59

Southern Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forest MHs49



American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana)

American cow parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American red raspberry (Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus)

black ash (Fraxinus nigra)

black cherry (Prunus serotina var. serotina)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides)

bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense)

Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomea)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common blue violet (Viola sororia)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum)

common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata)

early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum)

field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

ironwood (Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana)

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus)

large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

Minnesota dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

thyme-leaf speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

rock elm (Ulmus thomasii)

rosy sedge (Carex rosea)

round-leaved dogwood (Cornus rugosa)

sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba)

smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum)

upright carrionflower (Smilax ecirrhata)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

white trout lily (Erythronium albidum)

wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii)

wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)

winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)


Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Acer rubrum var. rubrum (red maple)

Acer saccharum ssp. saccharum (sugar maple)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)

Anemone acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica)

Anemone canadensis (Canada anemone)

Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)

Asarum canadense (wild ginger)

Athyrium filix-femina ssp. angustum (northern lady fern)

Barbarea vulgaris (winter cress)

Carex rosea (rosy sedge)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cornus rugosa (round-leaved dogwood)

Crataegus punctata (dotted hawthorn)

Dioscorea villosa (wild yam)

Enemion biternatum (eastern false rue anemone)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)

Erythronium albidum (white trout lily)

Erythronium propullans (Minnesota dwarf trout lily)

Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)

Fraxinus nigra (black ash)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)

Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)

Heracleum sphondylium ssp. montanum (American cow parsnip)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Laportea canadensis (Canadian woodnettle)

Maianthemum racemosum var. racemosum (common false Solomon’s seal)

Menispermum canadense (Canada moonseed)

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Osmundastrum cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana (ironwood)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii (wild blue phlox)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Quercus macrocarpa var. macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (American red raspberry)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Smilax ecirrhata (upright carrionflower)

Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)

Tilia americana var. americana (American basswood)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus thomasii (rock elm)

Uvularia grandiflora (large-flowered bellwort)

Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaf speedwell)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)

American cow parsnip

black cherry

bur oak (var. macrocarpa)

Canada anemone


common blue violet

eastern false rue anemone

large-flowered bellwort

northern prickly ash

sharp-lobed hepatica

smooth sumac

Virginia waterleaf

wild columbine

wild geranium

wild yam

winter cress





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