Strasser Woods State Preserve

Strasser Woods State Preserve
1552 E 36th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50317

This 40-acre preserve within the City of Des Moines is owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and managed by Polk County Conservation. Enjoy the one-half mile hiking trail that winds through hilly upland woodlands which showcases a beautiful display of spring wildflowers. The Fourmile Creek Greenway and Gay Lea Wilson trail runs along the eastern park boundary.

  • Hiking
  • Mushroom Hunting
  • Dogs must be kept on a six-foot leash; please remember to pick up after your pets.

The trails are sensitive to erosion and cannot withstand wear caused by: 

  • No Horses
  • No Bicycles
  • No motorized vehicles

Visitors may collect the following for non-commercial use if the plant is not harmed:

  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Edible mushrooms
Removing plants, hunting, trapping animals, and cutting wood is illegal here.


Summer |6:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. | April 1 - October 31

Winter | Sunrise - Sunset | November 1 - March 31 

Unless Otherwise Posted 


Strasser Woods State Preserve contains a 40-acre tract of forest within the city limits of Des Moines. Joseph and Elizabeth Strasser, who had owned the property since 1965, donated the woodland to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1981. The area was transferred to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 1982 and dedicated as a biological state preserve.


From the intersection of I-235 and East University Avenue (Highway 163) on the east side of Des Moines, go east on University Avenue for 2 miles to East 36th Street. Turn north (left) and go 3 blocks through a residential area to the parking area at the end of the street.