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Walnut Woods State Park
All water and sewer is shut off for the season in the campground. This inlcudes restrooms, dump stations, fill hydrants, and full hook up sites. Pit vault restrooms throughout the park will remain open.

Walnut Woods State Park

Walnut Woods State Park
3155 SE Walnut Woods Dr.
West Des Moines, IA 50265
ph. 515-285-4502
fax: 515-285-7476

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Facilities and Activities

The park provides shaded picnic areas with fire grills and tables. Many are located close to the river for easy access to fishing.

The popular lodge is an outstanding feature of the park. It is a beautiful setting for weddings, family reunions, holiday parties and business meetings. The lodge was built in the 1930s of limestone brought in from an eastern Iowa quarry and rough-cut hand-filled lumber. The lodge is available for rental on a reservation basis. The lodge may reserved online through the park reservation system.

The shady campground is a popular place for a family "get-a-way." The campground includes full hookups and electric hookups. The park has modern restrooms and an RV dump station. There are no shower facilities. The campsites are nestled among shade trees and have concrete pads, picnic tables and fireplaces. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. 25% of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Friends of Walnut Woods provide firewood sales to campers. Open May to September, daily. Available through the campground host. T-shirts also available while supplies last. For more info please email them at Friendsofwalnutwoods@yahoo.com.

Walnut Woods is open year-round and is perfect for cross-country skiing. There are approximately two and one-half miles of trails.

River Activities( boating, fishing)
The park is located right along the Raccoon River which offers great fishing and canoeing opportunities. You can fish from the river bank or put your boat in the water at the boat ramp located on the west end of the park.

Walnut Woods encompasses 260 acres of wooded bottomland along the Raccoon River. Within the park lies a large surviving natural stand of black walnut trees. More than 90 species of birds have been identified along the numerous foot and bridle trails throughout the park and along the river.

The valley in which Walnut Woods is located was created by the meandering of the Raccoon River. Since the park elevation is not much higher than the normal river level, constant changes can be seen in its banks. The most dramatic is where the river channel runs against the western edge of the park. Constant churning and washing in the past removed tons of soil, sand and gravel. In the mid-1980s, the most vulnerable areas of the riverbank were protected by rock "riprap" and special jetties designed to minimize erosion.

Located only minutes southwest of Des Moines, the park provides shaded picnic areas with fireplaces and tables and peaceful spots for river fishing. The park is open year-round and is perfect for cross-county skiing with 2 1/2 miles of ski trails. A pleasant equestrian trail is also located in the park.

Nearby Towns
Walnut Woods is located within the Des Moines metropolitan area at the southern edge of West Des Moines.

Nearby Lakes

Blue Heron Lake (Raccoon River Park)
Dale Maffitt Reservoir
Greenwood/Ashworth Park Pond
Des Moines Water Works Recharge Basins
Grays Lake
Witmer Park Pond
Donald McRae Park Pond
Raccoon River (below Van Meter)
McHenry Park Lagoon
Birdland Park Pond
Ewing Park Pond
Dean Lake
Cases Lake
Easter Lake
Badger Creek Pond


Within park
Bicycling, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Boating, Camping - Electric, Camping - Full Hook-up, Camping - Nonelectric, Camping - Youth Group, Canoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Day-use Lodge, Firewood Sales, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Non-modern Campground, Picnic Area, Restrooms, River, Trails, Cross County Skiing, Trails, Equestrian, Trails, Hiking, Water Hydrants , Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing

Less than a mile
More than a mile
ATM/Cash Machine, Boat Rental, Canoe Rental, Church, Fuel, Vehicles, Grocery Store, Kayak Rental, Medical Clinic, Motel, Retail, Drinks, Retail, Ice, Retail, Snacks, Swimming - Pool, Trails, Bicycle