9987 West Bancroft
Holland, Ohio 43528
Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve webpage
Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve map
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Photo by Ken Ostermiller
Irwin Prairie Trails
The Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve has a handicapped accessible boardwalk which provides access through Irwin Prairie. The boardwalk is a 1.25-mile loop trail beginning at the parking lot. This boardwalk does not have kick rails for wheelchairs. We suggest that wheelchair users have assistance when using this trail system.
While not as long a hike as many, this unique site in the Oak Openings region is well worth the walk.
About Irwin Prairie
+ Wet prairie dominated by sedges and rushes
+ Habitat for migrating songbirds and waterfowl
A wet prairie dominated by sedges and rushes, habitat for migrating songbirds and waterfowl. The core of this preserve is a treeless, wet sedge meadow dominated by several species of sedges, rushes, and wetland grasses. It is the finest remaining sedge meadow in the state. The preserve is actually comprised of a mosaic of distinctive plant communities based on variations in water table levels.
Tallgrass wet prairie communities dominated by big bluestem and spiked blazing-star; sedge meadow dominated by twig-rush; shrub swamp dominated by shrubby species of dogwoods and willows; grass meadow dominated by blue-joint grass and northern reed-grass; and swamp forest dominated by pin oak and cottonwood, are all represented.
More than 26 state-listed species of plants occur here including red baneberry, Sartwell’s sedge, fringed gentian, Kalm’s St. Johns wort, Riddell’s goldenrod and grass-leaf arrowhead. Rare animals sighted at Irwin Prairie include sedge wrens, Bell’s vireo, least bittern, golden-winged warbler, spotted and Blandings turtles, and the purplish copper butterfly.
The best time to visit Irwin Prairie is during July and August to view the summer wildflowers. The wet prairie plant community in the region has been severely impacted by the draining of wetlands. Even though the prairie grows in a state nature preserve, its future remains uncertain.
Located in Lucas County about 10 miles west of Toledo. From I-475/US-23, follow US-20 west approximately 3 miles to Centennial Road; south about 1 mile to Bancroft Street; and then west on Bancroft street to the preserve entrance. Parking lot and trail system present.
From Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve webpage
No restroom facilities.