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Easter Lake Park

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The centerpiece of this beautiful park on the south side of Des Moines is its 172-acre lake and the 4 mile trail loop that encircles it. 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. 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.
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Located in Capital Country


In Iowa, sunny days mean endless possibilities. Whether it's a family getaway, an outdoor adventure, or anything in between, we know a place.