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Iowa State Parks

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USA Parks
Southwest Region
Walnut Woods State Park
Eastern Goldfinch ©
Eastern Goldfinch
Eastern Goldfinch ©
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8951 SW 52nd Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa   50265

Phone: 515-285-4502
Reservations: 877-427-2757
Email: park email button icon
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.
The shady campground is a popular place for a family "get-a-way." There are 23 campsites, 8 with 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 gravel pads, picnic tables and fireplaces. Starting February 13, 2006 advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. Half of the campsites are still available for self-registration on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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.

Walnut Woods State Park is located near Altoona, Ankeny and Clive

The park provides shaded picnic areas with fire grills and tables. Many are located close to the river for easy access to fishing.
Walnut Woods is open year-round and is perfect for cross-country skiing. There are approximately two and one-half miles of trails.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
March 30 Great Views and Quiet Camping by JinQ
park review stars; one to five I have been to this camp on a regular basis I regularly walk the river when it is low and do bird watching in this area it also has very nice clear trails that accommodate Horses and people. Also it is not to far from Browns Woods which is also awesome for creek walking and trail hiking. It is really quiet and you may here the buzz of vehicles but mostly you will hear the sounds of birds in the morning as they wake and throughout the day. I have personally seen woodpeckers of all kinds, the occasionally hummingbird groups, the Iowa state bird the goldfinch, Redtail hawks, Harrier Hawks from time to time, and Bald Eagles which nest some where along the river. This is a great park to relax and camp or if you live in the area to take your kids for the day because there are trails that are easy to walk to the small but well maintained playground across from the Walnut Woods Lodge.
August 18 Bird watchers paradise
park review stars; one to five A great day at the park. The bird watch area built for watching is great. Many hummingbirds and other local birds. We caught fish in the river, saw deer swim across the river. Just a great day out for our 9 year old daughter and dad on an out of school day.
August 1 beautiful
park review stars; one to five this is a very beautiful state park. i have looked through your intire web site and this is a very beautiful park . it has everything that you will need to spend a vacation here from tent camping to cabins i have not been to this park as of et but i will be visiting it in the near future.
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