This week the Bison was officially made the National Mammal of the United States. This majestic beast has come a long way from near extinction to National symbol. Want to see these big guys in person? Here is a list of some places in the Midwest where you can see Bison in the wild:
- Custer State Park, SD
Custer State Park is home to around 1,300 free roaming, wild Bison. Visit in late September to feel the Earth rattle beneath your feet as you witness the annual Buffalo Round Up. Nearby at Badlands National Park and Wind Cave you can also spot wild bison in the prairie.
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
It only makes sense that a park named for one of the founders of the American Bison Society would be one of the best places to visit the Bison. Theodore Roosevelt National Park allows visitors to watch Bison roam freely within the North Dakota badlands.
- Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS
In 2009, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas welcomed the American Bison home. The park nestled in the Flint Hills also offers backcountry camping. Backpackers must tread carefully since they share the prairie with free roaming wildlife.
- Nachusa Grasslands, IL
Two years ago, Bison were finally reintroduced into the Illinois Prairie at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove. Visitors currently are not allowed to enter the areas where the Bison roam wild - however it is possible to spot the growing herd from the Visitors Center or pulloffs around the park. Bring Binoculars!
- Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, IL
Twenty-seven bison made there way over to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie last year, with public viewing just now opening this Spring. Bring your binoculars! The bison are currently in a wide open fenced in area for the visitors safety as well as their own.