There are many places to discover a perfect picnic spot in Polk County Conservation's parks. Whether you are looking for a picnic shelter for a family reunion, or a quiet secluded picnic area; you are sure to find it in one of our parks.

Picnic shelters at Easter Lake Park, Fort Des Moines Park, Jester Park, Mally's Park, Thomas Mitchell Park, and Yellow Banks Park can be reserved in advance. Shelters vary in size and accommodate between 50 - 150 people depending on the shelter. If unreserved for the day, shelters are available to park visitors on a first come basis.

Reservations for shelters can be made online at

Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt’s picnic areas overlook the scenic oxbows of the old Skunk River.

Easter Lake Park has five picnic shelters (#5 has electricity and water) and picnic areas that overlook the 172-acre lake where fishing is popular.

Fort Des Moines Park features two open air picnic shelters and one 3-season picnic shelter (#1 and #3 have electricity and water) available for reservation, as well as six other first-come, first-served shade structures located throughout the park.

Jester Park features six shelters (#3, #5, #6 have electricity and water, ,#4 has water) and picnic areas throughout the wooded hills along the shore of Saylorville Lake.

Mally’s Park features a picnic shelter (non-electric), as well as offering picnic areas in a wooded setting.

Thomas Mitchell Park’s two shelters (both have electricity) and picnic areas rest in a scenic bend of Camp Creek at the foot of a tall, wooded ridge.

Yellow Banks Park features three shelters (#4 has electricity and water) and picnic areas on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Des Moines River.