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Brown's Woods Forest Preserve
465 SE BROWNS WOODS DR West Des Moines, Iowa | Map It Capital Country Visit Our Website 515.323.5300 515.323.5300
Brown's Woods, Iowa's largest urban forest preserve, offers more than four miles of trails to explore. This 486-acre forest in West Des Moines features a canopy of oak and hickory trees stretching from Brown's Woods Drive to the Raccoon River. The rolling hills and small streams of Brown's Woods are a joy to explore at any season. Brown's Woods can only be explored by foot or cross-country skis. The trails are sensitive to erosion and cannot withstand wear caused by horses, bicycles, or motorized vehicles. This wildlife area is named after Tallmadge E. Brown, a successful Des Moines lawyer who acquired large tracts of land around Des Moines in the late 1800s. One of them was this beautiful forest acquired by the Conservation Board in 1972. Visitors may collect nuts, fruit or edible mushrooms for non-commercial use if the plant is not harmed; however, removing plants, hunting, or trapping animals and cutting wood is illegal here. Dogs are allowed if kept on a six-foot leash; please remember to pick up after your pets. Summer hours are from 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; winter hours are from sunrise to sunset.