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Greater Des Moines Lakes

The rolling hills, limestone cliffs and abundant waterways in and around Des Moines provide the perfect playground for visitors and locals alike. Take advantage of the excellent lakes Greater Des Moines has to offer the next time you find yourself in the metro. Need a few ideas to get you started? 

  • Gray's Lake Park
  • Saylorville Lake
  • Big Creek Marina


Gray’s Lake Park
With its many opportunities for walking, biking and water activities, Gray’s Lake Park is a great place to get out in the metro. Walk or ride along the 1.9-mile trail that encircles the lake. During the day, rent out or bring your own canoe or sailboat and drift around Gray’s Lake. Or, try out stand up paddle boarding! At night, head to the trail and take in the downtown Des Moines skyline and the bridge. The trail bridge is illuminated at night with eye catching complimentary colors.

Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake is a great destination for families with or without their own boat. Stop by the equipment rental house and check out boats, paddle boards, explorer tandems and more. Head over to the other side of Saylorville and check out the dam. Hundreds of gallons of water rush through the dam every minute, but don’t stand too close, you might get wet! Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole.  

Big Creek Marina

Big Creek Marina is another perfect stop in Greater Des Moines for some family-friendly outdoor activities. Stop by the rental shop and check out anything from a 15-passenger pontoon boat to a stand-up one-person paddle boat. Big Creek Marina also offers a beach, playground and areas to grill! Bring the whole family, including your four-legged loves ones, and enjoy all Big Creek Marina has to offer.

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