A botanical treasure of 612 acres of native Nebraska prairie, the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie has almost 2 miles of walking and hiking trails open to the public. Nature lovers can enjoy areas of tall grass, short grass, flowers, shrubbery and take in the scenic beauty of the landscape. The prairie is also home to a variety of bird species and is recognized as a Nebraska Birding Site by the Nebraska Teaming with Wildlife Coalition. Bird-watchers can view meadowlarks, upland sandpipers, wood ducks, blue-winged teals, blue birds, assorted sparrows, grouse, turkeys, orchard orioles and more. This is an excellent location to view vast prairie sunrises and sunsets or dark-sky stargazing. Stop by the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud to borrow a "Prairie Exploration Backpack" for your adventures, complete with guides to flora and fauna, drawing paper, and binoculars — and bring a picnic. Located five miles south of Red Cloud on Highway 281 on Kansas border. Free to the public.