Des Moines Spotlight

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Greater Des Moines Outdoor Recreation

Catch a day under the sun. At local parks. Swimming at local water parks. Ice skating at Brenton Plaza. Catch a train ride at Blank Park Zoo. Sleep under the stars at Adventureland Campground. Des Moines is easy to feel safe. Easy to get around by foot. Or by bike. Or canoe. What you find in Des Moines is an opportunity for recreation. Where you can see a Menace Soccer match. Or take a fall hay-rack ride. Des Moines is where you can feel at home. In the great outdoors.

With miles and miles of trails, ride along the backdrop of downtown. Or catch a view on the High Trestle Trail. Des Moines was named a "Runner Friendly Community" by Road Runners Club of America in 2012. And with the trail system in Central Iowa only getting better, the running community can appreciate all that the city offers.

During the summer, experience the views of Des Moines on an authentic stern-wheel paddle-wheeler, the Jon Anderson White Riverboat. Enjoy public golf courses with scenic views and golf lessons with a pro.

It's a place for horseback riding. Boating. And outdoor recreation within Polk County Conservation's 12,000 acres of prairies, wetlands and parks.


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Altoona Parks & Recreation

Region: East/Northeast
  • 407 8th Street Southeast
  • Altoona, IA 50009
  • Phone: (515) 967-5203

Altoona Parks and Recreation offers over 200 acres of parks and 18 miles of bike trails. Activities include an aquatics park, skate park, rose garden, enabling garden, native prairies, disc golf,

Ankeny Parks & Recreation

Region: North
  • 210 S Ankeny Boulevard
  • Ankeny, IA 50021
  • Phone: (515) 963-3570

The city of Ankeny has the Prairie Ridge Youth Sports Complex, which includes a 9,000 square foot concrete skate park, aquatic center, Lakeside Center (3,500 square foot facility available for

Big Creek State Park

Region: North
  • 8794 NW 125th Avenue
  • Polk City, IA 50226
  • Phone: (515) 984-6473

Buxton Park Arboretum

Region: Other
  • N Buxton Street & W Girard Avenue
  • Indianola, IA 50125
  • Phone: (515) 961-9420

This interpretive self-guided tree tour will acquaint you with several of the non-native, unusual or rare trees that live in Buxton Park Arboretum. Brochures are available in the kiosk near the

City of Windsor Heights

Region: Central
  • 1133 66th Street
  • Windsor Heights, IA 50324
  • Phone: (515) 279-3662

The city of Windsor Heights has a number of outdoor recreational opportunities including Colby Park, with its athletic fields, playground, performance pavilion and community center for indoor

Clive Parks & Recreation Department

Region: West
  • 1900 NW 114th Street
  • Clive, IA 50325
  • Phone: (515) 223-5246

The City of Clive has 15 parks, including our 300-acre Greenbelt with nine miles of recreational trails. The aquatic center is open approximately Memorial Day through Labor Day and features pools,

DeNelsky Park Cell Phone Tour

Region: Other
  • 509 E. 4th Avenue
  • Indianola, IA 50125
  • Phone: (515) 961-9420

Half-mile, level mowed grass path through undeveloped woodlands and savannahs features six stations with information about the park's history, plants and wildlife.

Des Moines Park & Recreation

Region: Central
  • 1551 E Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
  • Des Moines, IA 50317
  • Phone: (515) 237-1386

Des Moines Parks and Recreation offer a variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, picnicking, swimming and tennis. Golf courses, swimming pools, community centers, trail

Gray's Lake

Region: Downtown
  • 2100 Fleur Drive
  • Des Moines, IA 50321
  • Phone: (515) 242-2860

With its many opportunities for walking, biking and other activities, Gray’s Lake is a great place to go to have a fun outdoor experience. Gray’s Lake Park consists of the 167-acre lake with a

Grimes Parks & Recreation

Region: Northwest
  • 410 SE Main Street
  • Grimes, IA 50111
  • Phone: (515) 986-2143

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The Parent Organization of the Des Moines Area Sports Commission
400 Locust Street, Suite 265, Des Moines, IA 50309-2350 (800) 451-2625
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