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Big Creek State Park
Big Creek staff have pulled the docks at all boat ramps until next spring. (Posted 12/01/2020)
Flush Facilities will be closed for the rest of the season and will open back up in April of 2021. Pit latrines at Williams drive, Beach Boat Ramp, Disc Golf, and Universal Fishing Pier will remain open, as well as Port-o-Potties placed at the beach. (Posted October 19th, 2020)

Big Creek State Park

8794 NW 125th Ave
Polk City, IA 50226
ph. 515-984-6473
fax: 515-984-9320

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Facilities and Activities

Big Creek State Lake was created as part of the Saylorville project to protect Polk City from floods. A diversion dam which forms the 866-acre Big Creek Lake was primarily developed as a flood control project but also offers a wide variety of recreation. Big Creek State Park and the adjoining public hunting areas provide recreation for visitors of all ages and interests. The focal point of the 3,550-acre complex is the lake.

Shelters and picnic areas, a beach, playground, a multi-purpose sports field and several boat ramps provide a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Open picnic shelters, located in pleasant settings around the lake, can be reserved through the park reservation system . The brown picnic tables located at the shelters are handicapped accessible.

Playground at Big CreekCamping
Camping is not permitted at Big Creek State Park. However, there are several large federal and county camping areas about four miles away on Saylorville Lake.

A 26-mile paved multi-use trail allows bicyclists and pedestrians to travel from the beach south through the Saylorville Lake area all the way to Des Moines. Eleven miles of snowmobile trails provide winter recreational opportunities. Big Creek is also popular with cross-country skiers.

Lake Activities (swimming, boating, fishing)
Big Creek Lake's clear water provides great family swimming fun. Refreshments are available at the beach during the swimming season. A large wooden play structure, accessible to the mobility impaired, is located at the beach. Disc golf, model air, softball, and volleyball areas provide additional entertainment.

Big Creek Lake provides excellent fishing year-round. The lake's clear waters are stocked with crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish and muskie. The lake is popular for a variety of boating activities. Any size motor may be operated at "no wake" speeds on the lake. Five modern boat ramps, three on the west side and two on the east, provide excellent access to the lake. A gravel ramp is located on the upper end of the lake. Sailboat rigging zones and vehicle parking areas are at each modern ramp. A 88-berth "dry-dock" area is at the northeast corner of the park. Arrangements for rental of dry-docking space may be made through the park office. A fishing pier is accessible to the mobility impaired.

Big Creek has a concessionaire that offers pontoon boats, kayaks, paddle boards, bicycles, and more. To contact the concessionaire call 515-984-6083 or email them at bigcreekmarina.com.

Beach Monitoring Results

The state park is a wildlife refuge where hunting is not permitted. However, hunting is allowed on the lake itself and in designated public hunting areas around the lake. Upland areas open for hunting are marked with public hunting signs. Favorite game includes pheasants, rabbit, deer and squirrel. Waterfowl hunting is popular on the lake. Information on hunting regulations can be found at: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Hunting Licenses & Laws

Charles "Butch" Olofson Shooting Range
The shooting range is located off Highway 415, three miles northwest of the park entrance and offers sheltered stations for firing handguns and rifles. The range is operated by a private concessionaire and is open to the public year round. The hours are Wednesday - Friday 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Saturday and Sunday 8 A.M to 5P.M.. A recently developed trap and skeet area also provides challenging recreational opportunities at this complex. The trap and skeet area is available Wednesday - Friday 3 P.M. until dark and Saturday and Sunday 8 A.M. until dark. This area also provides a classroom facility for hunter education, training, and meetings. Please call 515-795-2067 or 515-238-6977 for information, upcoming events or change in hours.

Nearby Towns
Polk City is two miles south on NW Madrid Drive. Des Moines is 11 miles south. Ankeny is 8 miles south-east. Madrid is seven miles north. Ames is 20 miles north.

Nearby Lakes

Big Creek Lake
Discovery Pond
Des Moines River (Stratford to Saylorville Lake)
Siglund Pond
Saylorville Reservoir
Hawkeye Park Pond
Ankeny Lake (DMACC)


Within park
Bait, Beach, Bicycling, Bicycling, Bird Watching, Boat Launch Ramp, Boat Rental, Boating, Canoeing, Catering, Concession, Cross Country Skiing, Dock Slips, Dock, Boat, Dock, Fishing, Fish Cleaning Station, Fishing, Frisbee Disc Golf, Fuel, Boats, Hiking, Jogging/Running, Kayak Rental, Kayaking, Maintenance, Boat, Marina, Paddle Boating, Park Lake, Parking, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Pier, Fishing, Playground, Rentals, Bicycle, Rentals, Fishing Equipment, Sail Boating, Snowmobiling, Swimming - Beach, Trails, Cross Country Skiing, Trails, Snowmobile, Wildflower Viewing, Wildlife Viewing, Windsurfing/Sailboarding

Less than a mile
Golf, Hunting

More than a mile
Antiquing, Archery, ATM/Cash Machine, Church, Fuel, Vehicles, Grocery Store, Horseback Riding, Hospital, Interpretive Center, Jet Skiing, Medical Clinic, Putt-putt Course, Reservoir, Retail, Firewood, Shopping, Tennis, Town, Water Skiing, Winery Tours