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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 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

OFF-SEASON FACILITIES: Modern restrooms are open at East boat ramp, West boat ramp, Hampton Shelter, and Cadet Shelter.  Portable toilets are available at the beah area.  Other modern restrooms throughout the park will be open by May 1.  The fish cleaning station is on and open for use. Vault toilets are available for off season use at the Beach boat ramp, Disc Golf Course, and Williams Drive Boat Ramp. Docks are in the water and available for use at all boat ramps on Big Creek. Questions about seasonal closures may be directed to the park office at or 515-984-6473. (Updated 4-15-24)

PLAYGROUND CLOSURE: The playground at Big Creek State Park will be closed for maintenance April 27 - 28, 2024.  Questions may be directed to the park office at or 515-984-6473. 

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 (Posted 12/1/2023)


  • 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