A small herd of bison have arrived at their new, 150-acre fenced home in Dakota County. The Bison Prairie is located at the Fahey Trailhead in Spring Lake Park Reserve. (Map and driving directions).
In the future, bison can be best viewed from the Mississippi River Greenway. The reintroduction of bison is an important element to continued prairie restoration.
Hours: Daily, 5 a.m.–10 p.m. Parking lot hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Current location of the bison
The bison are currently in the East Paddock. See map for details.
Bison Prairie Map
Bison Prairie Fact Sheet
Some of our cows birthed babies in spring 2023. The calves will stand out on the prairie, displaying a reddish-brown coat.
Check in on the babies' progress, but please keep in mind bison get more protective when they have a calf. If the bison are near the fence and look stressed, please move to a different area for the health of the bison and new calf.
Viewing the bison
The bison herd is managed within fenced-in areas throughout the western half of Spring Lake Park Reserve.
Throughout the year, the bison herd will be moved to different areas, known as paddocks. Bison are free to roam within each area and could be difficult to see at times.
This webpage will be updated when bison move from one area to another.
Our outdoor education team offers a variety of public programs, school field trips and private nature programs about the bison prairie. Learn more about programs and events.
Parking is available in the trailhead parking lot. You can also park along the park entrance road and Pine Bend Trail unless signed as no parking.
Bison viewing rules
Dakota County welcomes you to view and learn about the bison. Please remember, bison are wild animals. They can be dangerous and unpredictable.
- Do not attempt to feed the bison.
- Keep your voices down and do not harass the bison.
- Keep 10 feet from the fence at all times.
- Pets must be leashed at all times. Do not secure pets to any tree, plant, sign or park structure. Pet waste must be removed.
- Do not climb fences or gates or throw objects into the fenced bison range.
- Do not tamper with fences, posts, gates, gains and locks.
- Do not operate drones or other engine-powered models and toys on or around the bison range.
The bison range is governed by County Ordinance 107 – Park Use and patrolled by the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.