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Big Creek State Park

Located near Saylorville Lake just 20 miles from Des Moines, Big Creek State Park is a family-friendly setting for picnicking and outdoor recreation. The centerpiece is Big Creek Lake, home of the largest beach in the state park system. The lake is also a popular fishing destination with boat and bike rentals available at the beach concessionaire. Take a day-trip to Big Creek State Park this season and enjoy everything Iowa outdoors has to offer.


PLAN YOUR VISIT

Hike or bike along the paved, 27-mile Neil Smith Trail, which leads from the beach through the Saylorville Lake area, all the way to Des Moines. In the winter, cross country ski on a 3.5 mile trail on the disk golf course.

Swim in Big Creek’s lake and soak up the sun on the beach during hot summer months. Boating is also a popular lake activity, with kayaks, paddle boards, pontoon boats and bikes available to rent at the beach concessionaire. Please contact the concessionaire at 515-984-6083 or bigcreekmarina.com for more information.

Fish among the coves on Big Creek Lake, a hotspot for crappie, walleye and bluegill. Big Creek has five boat ramps, several fishing jetties, an accessible fishing pier and miles of shoreline.

Reserve a picnic shelter for a leisurely meal during your trip to Big Creek. Picnic areas and 22 shelters are located around the lake along with a large wooden playground and a sports field for outdoor activities. Shelters can be reserved online through the online reservation system for Big Creek State Park.

Disc golf at Big Creek’s 18-hole course, meandering through wooded areas and prairies along the east shore of the lake.



Big Creek State Park
8794 NW 125th Ave
Polk City, IA 50226
Ph: 515-984-6473
Big_Creek@dnr.iowa.gov

HIGH WATER: Due to high water, all boat ramp docks on Big Creek Lake are inaccessible as of Wednesday, May 22. Water is expected to recede within a few days. (Posted 5/22/24)

FISHING PIER CLOSURE: The universally accessible fishing pier at Big Creek State Park was damaged in the August 2020 derecho weather event. The pier itself and surrounding area are scheduled to be renovated over the winter of 2023/2024. The pier, parking lot, and immediate area around the pier will be closed during replacement. A short section of the Neal Smith Trail will be closed during construction, trail users may detour through the parking lot. Work is expected to begin in October 2023 and is expected to be completed in June of 2024. Please contact the park office at 515-984-6473 or big_creek@dnr.iowa.gov with questions. (Updated May 9, 2024)

Neal Smith Trail Closure: A short section of the Neal Smith Trail through Big Creek State Park is currently closed due to a construction project. Trail users must detour off-trail to avoid the construction site.  The trail is expected to re-open by June 2024. Questions may be directed to the park office at 515-984-6473 or big_creek@dnr.iowa.gov. (Posted 12/1/2023)

AMENITIES AT A GLANCE

  • 18-hole disc golf course
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground; ADA accessible
  • Swimming beach; ADA accessible
  • Concessions
  • Paddlesport rental
  • Bicycle rental
  • Boat rental
  • Boat ramps
  • Universal fishing pier
  • Fishing jetty
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Shelters
  • Modern restrooms