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Camping in Greater Des Moines

It's time to dust off your camping gear and venture into the great outdoors! Whether you're a traditionalist with a tent and sleeping bags, rent a cabin, or prefer to "glamp" in an RV, you're sure to find a new favorite camping destination in central Iowa. Enjoy relaxing activities like fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, making smores, and a whole lot more with our list of scenic Greater Des Moines campsites! 


Jester Park 

Jester Park offers more than 168 campsites along the lakeshore and across the wooded hills overlooking Saylorville Lake. The park features 80 electric sites, 62 non-electric sites, four walk-in primitive sites, and two youth areas. Fun activities include boating, bison/elk herd overlooks, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and lessons or rides at the equestrian center.  

Ledges State Park 

The Ledges State Park campground offers 94 campsites with electric and non-electric options, modern restrooms, showers, dump station, and a playground. Enjoy hiking four miles of trails up and down scenic overlooks and cliffs and access for canoes kayaks and tubes along the waterways. Both campers and daytrippers will enjoy the main attraction at Ledges: the canyon drive, a winding one-way road along Pea's Creek offering motorists breathtaking views of the canyon and Des Moines River Valley.  

Cherry Glen Campground 

This large campground offers 125 family sites, all with electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water, and a dump station. Educational programs, group shelters, playgrounds, and a boat ramp all provide additional recreation opportunities for guests. Nearby amenities include a visitor center, disc golf course, and nearby Saylorville lake for boating and fishing. This campground is also near the famed Neal Smith Trail, perfect for hiking or bike riding during your adventure.  

Walnut Woods 

The shady campground is a popular place for a family getaway. The campground includes full hookups and electric hookups with modern restrooms and an RV dump station. The campsites are nestled among shade trees with concrete pads, picnic tables, and fireplaces. Walnut Woods encompasses 260 acres of wooded bottomland along the Raccoon River. Within the park lies a large surviving natural stand of black walnut trees. More than 90 species of birds have been identified along the numerous foot and bridle trails throughout the park and along the river. 

Timberline Campground 

With country camping and city convenience, this is the perfect spot for beginning campers. Timberline campground offers 111 full hookups, 56 water/electric sites, eight tent sites, and ten cabins. The facilities include a store, rental cabins, swimming pool, picnic area, clean restrooms, playground, rec hall, dog park, basketball court, volleyball court, propane, dump station, laundry room, and Wi-Fi Internet connections.  

Lake Ahquabi State Park 

The campground at Ahquabi State Park located right along the lakeshore has many campsites with electrical hookups, modern restrooms and showers, and two trailer dump stations. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fireplace. A playground is located near the campground, great for keeping the little ones entertained. Hike and bike the 6.5 mile Lake trail, or swim and boat on Lake Ahquabi, only a short walk away from your campsite. 

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