How to Prepare for Your Visit View All
Buffalo Slough is part of a larger 80-acre wetland slough that contains a large linear fen complex referred to as a slough or channel fen. A channel fen is a peat-filled wetland found in ancient river channels. Fens are special as a distinctive natural community and as habitat for rare plant and animal species. In Iowa, more than 200 species of plants are associated with fens and a single fen could contain as many as 75 plant species.
Mason City, in Cerro Gordo County
Access is across private property. Permission from adjacent landowner must be obtained before visiting.
Buffalo Slough was donated to the Conservancy in 1993 by Lucille Minott, whose late husband was deeply interested in nature and conservation.
The Conservancy is trying to protect the many rare and threatened species at Buffalo Slough from threats including invasive species such as purple loosestrife, reed canary grass and buckthorn, and from runoff from the golf course and residential areas that surround it.
Several rare plantsare protected at the site, including the largest population of bog buckbean in Iowa, fragrant false indigo, bog bedstraw and sage willow.
A healthy population of the state-threatened Baltimore checkerspot butterfly, which feeds on turtlehead is found at Buffalo Slough. Also, visitors might see red-winged blackbirds, sedge wrens and yellowthroats.
Contact The Nature Conservancy in Iowa at (515) 244-5044.
Please see our "Preserve Visitation Guidelines" page.
Directions coming soon.