I have lived near the number one national wildlife refuge in America most of my life and never realized it. According to a new online visitor-voted ranking, the most popular national wildlife refuge in the country is an easy day trip from where I live in Missouri to where it's located in Iowa.

This is no off-the-beaten-path blogger site that has made this declaration. USA Today's 10 Best rankings just shared that their audience has named a wildlife refuge in Iowa as the best in America. It's the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. Wanna see bison? They have quite a herd. 

Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge via YouTube
Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge via YouTube

No matter where you live in Missouri, this refuge in Prairie City, Iowa is only a few hours drive away. Did you know you were this close to 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat?

Hannibal, Missouri to Prairie City, Iowa
Google Maps

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge features Plains Bison which are now managed in conservation herds, but these large land mammals used to graze the grassland of the plains in large numbers. There is more to this Prairie City, Iowa destination than just bison, but they are one of the big reasons why you'll want to pack up the family vehicle and make this drive.

One nice benefit of this day trip is the wildlife refuge isn't that far from fun things to do in Des Moines, Iowa, too. Make sure to check out the official website to see if this is a potential weekend road trip from Missouri to Iowa for you and yours.

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Gallery Credit: EarthquakeSim via YouTube

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