Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
131.00 ft (39.93 m)
Trail type
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
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 Prairie Overlook Trail is a scenic hike over rolling hills in William O’Brien State Park. Start this hike by heading south from the Interpretive Center past prairie grasses for 0.2 miles, then head west for another 0.2 miles over a wooded ridge. Now follow the Wetland Trail west for 0.7 miles. Shortly after crossing railroad tracks, the 1.4 mile Prairie Overlook Trail will be to the left.

Heading south, the first stretch of the trail is rolling prairie. Soon you will come upon oak savanna and a pond. Once past the pond, the trail opens up to hilly prairie habitat. The southernmost portion of the trail provides sweeping views of the Saint Croix River valley. There is also a bench and information sign at this location. From here, the trail heads back north past the west side of the pond. Just past the pond, you will find a shelter that provides a nice view from high above the pond. From here it is a short hike to the end of the Prairie Overlook Trail.

Head east for 0.2 miles and then retrace your steps for 1.1 miles back to the Interpretive Center. The total distance covered in this hike is 3.8 miles. The Prairie Overlook Trail can also be accessed from a parking area off County Highway 4 (Ostrum Trail). Navigating the various trails at William O’Brien State Park is easy since there are trail maps at the intersections of the trails.

A map of all the hiking trails at William O’Brien State Park can be found here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Open Year-round



Scenic hike through rolling hills. Saint Croix River valley views.

Trailhead Elevation

814.00 ft (248.11 m)

Highest point

945.00 ft (288.04 m)


Family friendly
Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Big vistas
Potable water
Flushing toilets

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

William O'Brien State Park, Minnesota
William O'Brien State Park, Minnesota

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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