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

Park staff have started to winterize modern restrooms throughout the park. The restroom facilities at the Beach, West Boat Ramp, and Cadet shelter will remain open, weather permitting, until October 15th, 2021. The four pit toilets will remain open year round. (Posted on 10/1/21)
The Big Creek Snowmobile Trail is closed for use beginning March 15th to January 10th. On January 11th, the trail will open and there must be measurable snow, 1/10 of an inch, for allowable use, as described in the Code of Iowa Chapter 321G. The trail is a one-way trail, with traffic traveling in a clockwise location. Please obey all installed signage along the trail. (Posted 10/4/21)
Beginning September 20th, 2021, the North access lane at the beach will be closed due to a construction project taking place. This is from NW Big Creek Dr. to the Marina Boat Ramp, which includes the boat ramp road. Park visitors will need to use the South Beach access lane to able to use the beach area and Marina boat ramp during this project. Please contact the Park Office with any questions or concerns. (Posted 9/17/2021)
  • 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