Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Touch The Sky Prairie is a 12,249 acre tract of prairie north of Luverne, Minnesota. Jim Brandenburg, a world-renowned photographer, wanted to preserve and restore the prairie that was native to the area before farming transformed much of the land. Brandenburg worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase the first tract of land back in 2001. The Touch The Sky Prairie nearly tripled in size since it was first established. The Touch The Sky Prairie is part of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge which consists of parcels scattered throughout western Minnesota and northwest Iowa. The Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Refuge is significant since less than one percent of the original tallgrass prairie lands remain.

The Touch The Sky Prairie is open to the public for activities such as hiking, birding, and photography. To reach the Touch The Sky Prairie from Luverne head north on U.S. Highway 75 for about 4 miles. Take a left onto County Highway 20; travel for 3 miles and take a right on County Highway 11. Head north for a mile and take a left on 171st Street. After a short drive there is a gravel parking lot on the north side of the street. There are no fees to explore this prairie.

There is a kiosk near the parking lot entrance that displays a map of the area as well as information about the prairie. There are three mowed grass trails that can be hiked. One of the trails leads to a small waterfall, Beaver Creek Falls. The Prairie contains native grasses and a wide variety of wildflowers that bloom throughout the warm months. In addition to prairie plants, Sioux quartzite rock is visible in many places in the Touch The Sky Prairie. Sioux quartzite is pink and purplish in color because it contains iron oxide.

The Touch The Sky Prairie is worth a stop as it gives visitors a view of what the land in this area used to look like.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Example of native prairie




Family friendly
Historically significant
Bird watching



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