18. Thomas Mitchell Park
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Thomas Mitchell Park Closed Temporarily for Construction
Effective: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Thomas Mitchell Park is undergoing some major renovations to the creek that runs through the park and to the vehicular crossing over this creek. Although most of the construction has been completed during the winter months, a few more weeks of wrap up work remains. Repairs to the main park road will result in the entrance being closed to the public beginning on Wednesday, March 26th for approximately 1-2 weeks. Please continue to check our website for the most up-to-date information. We are sorry for this temporary inconvenience.
Park Entrance Address:
4250 NE 108 St.
Mitchellville, Iowa 50169
Park Mailing Address:
10509 NE 46 Ave.
Mitchellville, Iowa 50169
Thomas Mitchell Park Master Plan
Thomas Mitchell Park Tree Identification Brochure
A tall, wooded ridge is the most prominent natural feature of this 175-acre park south of Mitchellville. Thomas Mitchell, a native of New Hampshire, built his cabin here along Camp Creek in 1844. His cabin site is no longer visible, but Polk County's first permanent English-speaking settler is still remembered by a park monument and the town of Mitchellville which bears his name.
The park offers a 49-unit campground, two picnic shelters, universally designed play area, fishing pond, and the 1-1/2 mile Devotie Trail. The park entrance is located on NE 108th Street just south of NE 46th Street between Altoona and Mitchellville.
Reservations for shelters and some campsites can be made on-line at www.mycountyparks.com. The on-line reservation rate for electric is $22, non-electric is $16, and youth group sites are $15. Online reservations are available for camping between April 15 and October 15.
Maps: Campground, Youth Campground
Thomas Mitchell Park was named after Polk County’s earliest Anglo-American settler, Thomas Mitchell. In 1844, Mitchell obtained early access to the Iowa Territory from Captain Allen, commander of Fort Des Moines. In exchange, Mitchell built a bridge over Camp Creek which was often impassible to wagons traveling from Keokuk and Iowa City to Fort Des Moines. He also built the Apple Grove Inn, in what is today’s Thomas Mitchell Park. Thomas Mitchell was not only an innkeeper, but also a farmer, legislator, sheriff, and operator of a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Numerous improvements were made to Thomas Mitchell Park pond and surrounding area in 2010-2012. Watch this video to learn more.