Polk County Conservation

6. Easter Lake Park

small 6. Easter Lake Park mapView Map Detail

2830 Easter Lake Drive
Des Moines, Iowa

Easter Lake Watershed Management Plan

Click here for Easter Lake Exhibit Map.

The centerpiece of this beautiful park on the southside of Des Moines is its 172-acre lake, encircled by a 4.1-mile paved trail. Five picnic shelters and three children’s playgrounds overlook the lake. A boat ramp and accessible fishing pier/dock provides access for anglers trying to catch the walleye, bass, and catfish stocked by the Conservation Board into the lake every year. During the summer, a free swimming beach provides another wonderful way to enjoy the lake. *Note: No lifeguards on duty!

The park opened in 1967 on the site of Polk County’s last operating coal mine. After the strip mine shut down in 1959, the area was considered as a possible landfill site. However, neighborhood leaders joined together to form the South Town Lake and Development Society and promote the use of the site as a park.

The Owens Covered Bridge is the only covered bridge in Polk County. It was originally built in 1878 over the old North River channel on a road from Martin’s Ferry to Winterset. In 1939, the road and the North River channel were relocated north of the covered bridge site leaving the old bridge without a road and river. In 1968, Polk County Conservation Board promised to restore and move the bridge, board by board, nearly eight miles to Easter Lake Park. The bridge is located on the southern lake shore near Shelter #1 and shelters a section of the Mark C. Ackelson Trail as it travels through it.

Summer hours are from 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; winter hours are from sunrise to sunset.

Shelter reservations can be made on-line at www.mycountyparks.com.


Wymore Trail
Length: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Songbird Trail
Length: .1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Mark C. Ackelson Trail
Length: 4.1 miles


Apple Orchard Trail
Length: .2 miles
Difficulty: Easy

Contact Us

Administration Office
12130 NW 128th St
Granger, IA 50109

P: (515) 323-5300
F: (515) 323-5354

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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