On the public bison tours, you will ride through some of the state’s highest quality prairie, the result of countless hours of stewardship efforts. Bison grazing and wallows create micro-habitats that help support prairie diversity at Nachusa.
After your tour, we invite you to partner with us as advocates for nature in your community, as there are many natural places that are not yet managed. Spread the word, volunteer, or donate to places like Nachusa that protect and restore habitat. Together we can help natural areas thrive!
Free public tours of the Nachusa Grasslands Visitor Center and Bison Unit will be offered by TNC volunteers from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (ending time may vary due to the location of the herd) on various Saturdays from May to October 2023:
May 27 (4th Saturday)
June 17 (3rd Saturday)
June 24 (4th Saturday)
July 8 (2nd Saturday)
July 22 (4th Saturday)
August 12 (2nd Saturday)
August 26 (4th Saturday)
September 23 (4th Saturday)
October 7 (1st Saturday)
Tours will be limited to 10 people per tour group leader.
Up to two tours will be offered each day, depending on leader availability.
Children accompanied by adults may attend as long as they can sit safely on a bench in a truck bed.
Groups may sign up if there is enough space available.
Space will be reserved for people who have registered in advance.
Reservations will be available on a monthly basis. You can only sign up during the month that the tour is offered. Signups will be posted at 7 a.m. on the first day of each month and usually fill up quickly.
Meet the tour leaders at the trucks parked by the bathrooms.
Depending on time and interest, tours may include Visitor Center orientation, riding on benches in the bed of a truck to various areas on the preserve, walking short distances off trail over uneven ground, visiting the bison corral, and stopping at the new seed processing/science facility.
Viewing Nachusa’s bison is not guaranteed, as the herd cannot always be seen from the lanes.
Each tour will last about two hours.
Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and a hat.
Bring a water bottle, as the unshaded prairie can be very hot. A hand pump is available at the Visitor Center.
Bug repellent and sunscreen are also recommended.
If storms are in the forecast, bring rain gear.
The Visitor Center has outhouses.
Individuals with limited mobility may choose to remain in the vehicle while the rest of the group is out walking, but they must be able to climb up stairs to get in and out of a pickup truck.
Tour leaders may also ask anyone not suitably dressed to stay by the vehicle.
Tours may be cancelled due to inclement weather or the unavailability of volunteer leaders.
Please check your email for cancellation updates prior to arriving at Nachusa.
All tours are offered and overseen by The Nature Conservancy.
Guests may only attend tours if they are not feeling sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Wearing face masks in the trucks is currently optional, but you are welcome to wear one if you wish.