Heartland Prairie

Gordon Moore Park
4550 College Avenue (Route 140)
Alton, Illinois


Take a trip back in time to see what Illinois once looked like. Although Illinois still is known as the "Prairie State," less than 0.01% of Illinois' original 21 million acres of prairie remains in isolated patches around the state. One such place is the 27 acre tall grass Heartland Prairie on the north side of Gordon Moore Park. The Heartland Prairie was planted by the Sierra Club in 1977. This oasis of native prairie is managed by The Nature Institute, which keeps the trails maintained, provides incredible trail/plant guides, and does annual and semi-annual controlled burns.

A Tuesday evening guided prairie walk

A Tuesday evening guided prairie walk

The Heartland Prairie is always open during park hours and hosts nine species of native prairie grasses and 150 prairie wildflowers that are native to Madison County and surrounding Illinois counties. The wildflowers bloom at different parts of the year guaranteeing a different show for repeat visitors. If you want to see wildflowers this is the place to visit.

Guided hikes are held at the Heartland Prairie on the second and fourth Tuesdays from April through October. The Heartland Prairie is located on the north side of the park (across IL-111 from the main park where most of the other park activities take place.


Visiting the Heartland Prairie
The Heartland Prairie can be visited at any time from dusk to dawn.
There is no charge to visit the Heartland Prairie.


Explore the community of Alton area.

Explore the Meeting of the Great Rivers Region