Wildlife Prairie Park is always thinking of new and creative ways for you to unplug and interact with nature.
It’s so much more than just a place you can go to see animals. Our mission: “to offer interactive, nature-oriented, educational and recreational activities that provide transformational experiences, inspiring conservation of the great outdoors.” Wildlife Prairie Park strives to provide the Peoria area with opportunities to unplug and enjoy the outdoors at a place that is very close to home—just a short 20-minute drive from the heart of Peoria. Since the park is open year-round, there are many opportunities to stay active and interact with nature all year long.
An Outdoor Lover’s Paradise
While our animal exhibits are among our main attractions, the park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for families and individuals to enjoy. Since the park’s founding principles are conservation, education and recreation, we strive to provide a fun and safe environment where people can enjoy the outdoors and participate in a wide range of recreational activities. Some of these activities include hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, fishing, boating, cross-country skiing, fat biking and more!
Wildlife Prairie Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with approximately 20 miles of hiking and biking trails between its “east side” and “west side.” These trails are maintained primarily by volunteers who dedicate hours and hours of their time to make sure they are well groomed for the public. The east side is where the animals and other attractions are located; there, you can find trails for all ages and skill levels. Beginners can start with the Merrill Woods Trail, which is just short of a mile, while more advanced hikers can brave the five-mile Flood Plain Trail.
While biking is permitted only on the east side’s Flood Plain Trail, the park’s west side is home to over 12 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. These trails range from beginner to intermediate… to downright insane! Mountain bikers can also test their skills on our Bison Hump Pump Track, a low-risk looped track with one-foot and two-foot rollers and bermed corners. Riders of all ages can enjoy this fun attraction—the only pump track within 160 miles of Peoria.
Boating and fishing are favorite pastimes for many, so bring your bait and tackle and see what you can catch in any of our five fishing lakes. The park’s east side includes three fishing lakes, some of which can be fished from a canoe or boat with a trolling motor. The west side has two more fully-stocked lakes for guests to enjoy. Come and enjoy a relaxing day on the lake while making memories with your friends and family! And for those who want to learn about a new outdoor activity, the Park offers kayaking classes during the summer.
Investment in a Vision
This is just a glimpse of what Wildlife Prairie Park has to offer in the way of outdoor recreation. What does it take to be able to enjoy all of these activities? Guests only have to pay the price of daily admission, which gives you access to the main park area and the west side as well. If you are an avid outdoorsman, a membership may be the best option. An individual membership is just $55, granting you access to the park for a full year. If you want to share your adventures with friends, the “Member Plus 3” membership is just $85 and grants you and three of your friends’ admission every time you come!
Wildlife Prairie Park is always thinking of new and creative ways that we can help promote an active lifestyle that allows you to enjoy time in the beautiful outdoors. In accordance with our vision, we strive to “be the premier wildlife park that will be both the steward of the environment and preferred destination where families and friends learn about nature and create lasting memories.” This is only possible because of people like you, who support the park and invest in our vision for a future in which families and individuals can unplug from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and enjoy the nature around them. iBi
Lindsay Seiberlich is Volunteer Coordinator for Wildlife Prairie Park. For more information, visit wildlifeprairiepark.org.