The Chiwaukee Prairie, A Natural Treasure

Chiwaukee Prairie Trails

There are four trails which meander through the Chiwaukee Prairie south of 116th Street and east of the Union Pacific Railway. Walkers can enjoy the trails, however, picking flowers, digging plants, or collecting seeds is prohibited. The trails follow the path of the roadways that were platted before conservancy efforts to preserve the prairie had started. The four trails are named in honor of individuals who began efforts to preserve the prairie in the mid-1960's.

  1. The Gen Crema Trail: A park bench built by an Eagle Scout sits at the trailhead. The tops of sawed off telephone poles can be seen along the path. The poles were put up to block the vehicular traffic; once the plants took over the tops of the poles were cut off to plant level. The footpath goes south and along the side are metal stakes with numbers that mark the various prairie plants. Maps are not available on-site, but the plants correspond to the numbers on a map key available on the Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Web site.
  2. The Al Krampert Trail: From the trailhead at 121st Street and Second Avenue, the trail can be accessed by car. It heads north and ends at the Phil Sander Trail. A kiosk with prairie information stands at the start of the trail.
  3. The Jim Olson Trail: The footpath was formerly a dirt road. It begins at 122nd Street and Second Avenue and goes west to the railroad tracks.
  4. The Phil Sander Trail: Once 117th Street, the trail is now a footpath that runs from the north end of the Krampert Trail south to the Gen Crema Trail.