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

Boat Ramp Closures: Re-paving of all boat ramp parking lots at Big Creek State Park will take place in 2022. The project is expected to begin after March 1 and will last throughout the year. Effort will be made to keep boat access available at all times from at least one of the four ramps on the lake and to keep the main boat ramp near the beach and concession area open until September 15th due to the heavy use of that area during the recreation season. The beach concession will remain open as usual in 2022, however alternate access to the building may be required once work begins in that area later in the year. This bulletin will be updated as ramps are closed/re-opened. Questions may be directed to the park office at (515) 934-6473 or (Posted 12/28/2021)
July 10th, 2022 Special Event: On Sunday, July 10th the State Games of America Triathlon will be held at Big Creek State Park from 6:00AM to Noon. The event will be staged at the beach area however trails and roadways will be utilized as well. Visitors to the park should expect delays on roadways due to runners and cyclists, limited parking, and increased usage of the beach area during the event. Beach shelters and cabanas will remain available for reservation, however renters should expect higher than normal activity around the beach area until about noon on July 10th. Questions may be directed to the park office at (515) 984-6473 or (Posted 12/28/2021)
Modern Restrooms Closed: Modern restrooms throughout the park have been closed for the season. Pit latrines at Williams drive, Beach Boat Ramp, Disc Golf, and the Handicap Fishing Pier will remain open for off-season use. Modern restrooms are expected to re-open on April 15th. (Posted 10/15/21)
  • 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