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Park Rules & FAQ's

Top 10 Park Rules

  1. Pets must be leashed at all times. The leash is not to exceed six feet in length.  Pets shall not be left unattended outside the camping unit.
  2. The use of ATV’S or similar vehicles is prohibited in county parks and trails.
  3. Intoxicating liquors (hard alcohol) is not permitted on Polk County Conservation property.
  4. Polk County Conservation parks and trails are a drug free zone.  If you are caught with illegal drugs, the penalties double.
  5. All state laws are applicable.
  6. Open alcoholic beverages are not allowed in any vehicle.
  7. Visitor’s hours are from 6:30 A.M.-10:30 P.M. Winter hours (November 1 - March 31) are from sunrise to sunset. The north side of Easter Lake Park and Fort Des Moines Park are sunrise to sunset year-round.
  8. Quiet time in the campgrounds begins at 10:00 P.M.
  9. Fires are restricted to grills or metal rings provided and must be put out before leaving the site.
  10. The use of firearms, fireworks, or explosives is prohibited.  Nothing in this provision prohibits the use of firearms or bow and arrows in legal pursuit of game on designated hunting areas.

Click here for a complete listing of all rules and regulations.

FAQ

  • Do you sell firewood?

Polk County Conservation sells firewood in each of the four campgrounds. The campground attendants sell the firewood on Wednesday-Sunday from 6-9 P.M. The cost is $5 dollars per bundle.

  • I’ve noticed ponds in many of the areas that Polk County Conservation owns.  Are there any fish in these ponds?

All of the ponds that Polk County Conservation owns are stocked with many different types of fish.  To view specific park pond information, click here.  Polk County Conservation has mapped each of their ponds and put fish structures in each pond.  A list of ponds as well as a detailed map can be found at the link above.

  • Is there camping at Easter Lake Park? 

Camping is not allowed at Easter Lake Park. However, we do allow camping at Thomas Mitchell Park, Yellow Banks Park, Jester Park, and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt.

  • Where is the Easter Lake Park beach located at?       

It is located on the north side of Easter Lake Park.  Hours for the beach are Monday-Sunday 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day weekend.

  • What kinds of fish are stocked in Easter Lake?  

There are currently large mouth bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye, channel catfish, and grass carp. Polk County Conservation, along with the IDNR, currently stock walleye, catfish, and largemouth bass annually.

  • Do I set my camping unit up before I register?

Yes, you will need your site number when you register.

  • Who do I call in case of an emergency?

The Polk County Sheriff's Office should be contacted at (515-286-3333).  Once Polk County Dispatch receives your call they will contact a Park Ranger for the park/trail that you are in either by radio or cell phone.

  • When do I have to buy a fishing license?

Residents of Iowa, age 16 and older, need to have a fishing license. Non- residents of Iowa, age 14 and older, need to have a fishing license.  Fishing licenses expire January 10th of each year.

  • How old do you have to be to register a campsite?

At least one person in the camping party has to be 18 years of age or older.

  • How many days can I camp for in a campground?

No camping party or camping unit shall occupy any camp area for more than 14 days out of any 17 day period.

Education

The Parks Department, in conjunction with many other Polk County Conservation departments, instructs a wide variety of programs each year.
View the
full listing of public programs and events.

Trail Enforcement

Polk County Conservation has adopted a program called “Park Watch”. Perhaps you have seen the red and white "owl" signs that are posted at various trails throughout Polk County.  The Parks Advocacy Unit patrols hard surfaced and soft surfaced trails year round on foot, ATV’s, and bicycles.