May Prairie

Address: Asbury Road Manchester, TN Contact Email: ask.tnstateparks@state.tn.us
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From I-24 take the Manchester exist 114. Proceed south on U.S. 41 away from Manchester for approximately one mile. May Prairie is on the north side of U.S. 41 across from an auto salvage business. A small parking area for the WMA is on Asbury Rd on the right about one and a half miles off of U.S. 41.

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May Prairie boasts one of Tennessee's most diverse plant communities, with more than 300 species, 25 of which are rare in Tennessee. Adjoining the Hickory Flat Wood Wildlife Management Area (WMA), May includes disjunct plants from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains; it is the only state location for both the snowy orchid and coastal false-asphodel. It also includes many species common to the Midwest tall grass prairie. Dr. A. J. Sharp and his University of Tennessee coworkers discovered the prairie during a lunch stop at the Prairie Café. They were told that a prairie could be found behind the restaurant. May Prairie is a 250-acre natural area in Coffee County near Manchester. An impressive open grassland community, consisting of little bluestem and tall grass prairie communities, protrudes into the nearby oak forest. A swamp forest forms the headwaters of what once was the "prairie tributary."


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