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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.


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.

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

OPEN FACILITIES: All parks and forests remain open for day-use including: trails, roads, river and lake access points, boat ramps, shorelines and open spaces such as grassy areas. Equestrian trails may temporarily close due to wet conditions. Please check this page or call the park/forest office regarding equestrian trail closures. When recreating practice social distancing, avoid other groups of people and practice proper hygiene. (Posted 4/10/2020)
FACILITY CLOSURES UPDATE: ALL park, rec area and state forest campgrounds (including backpack campsites), youth campsites, group camps are closed for recreational camping through April 30, 2020. All cabins, yurts, day-use lodges, shelters, restrooms (modern and nonmodern), shower buildings, playgrounds, museums/visitor centers are also closed through April 30, 2020. (updated April 7, 2020)
Fishing cleaning station is closed for winter and will re-open in mid April.
  • 18-hole disc golf course
  • Hiking trails
  • Playground; ADA accessible
  • Swimming beach; ADA accessible
  • Concessions
  • Paddlesport rental
  • Bicycle rental
  • Boat rental
  • Boat ramps (5)
  • Universal fishing pier
  • Fishing jetty
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Shelters (22)
  • Modern restrooms