Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Nature Center
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Nature Center can be found off Highway 73 near the small town of Columbus. There is both a nature center and wildlife management area on the grounds. Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA was created in the late 1990s to help conserve a rare ecosystem: the nation’s largest tract of public blackland prairie. An onsite nature center serves as a basecamp to learn more about the area and many education programs are offered there.
Before it became a WMA, the land had a history as a cattle ranch, private hunting and fishing grounds, and some of the oldest agricultural land in the state. The Caddo Indians also once lived in the area, and many of their artifacts and mounds have been found on the grounds. Fossils of prehistoric marine life have also been found here. You can learn about the area via an onsite WMA Auto Tour that is available to explore. The tour has 10 spots to visit that are mapped out. Interpretive signs located along the route highlight the history and ecology of the area. In the spring and summer, vibrant and colorful wildflowers are in bloom.
There are many activities to do onsite including fishing, birding, hunting, hiking and more. The hiking trails consist of mowed foot paths through a portion of the WMA and include a shorter route ( 1 mile) and a longer option ( around 2 miles). A shotgun range that has trap, skeet and sporting clays is available to use by appointment as is a 3-D archery range on site that has 25 targets.