National Parks / Natural World
Gray's Lake Park Des Moines
Where are we going today?
It's always so much fun to find a beautiful piece of nature in the heart of a city - and in Des Moines, you will be lucky enough to find Gray's Lake Park!
Gray's Lake Park is a beautiful 167 acres of parkland and lake where there are plenty of ways to give the family a super fun time in the great outdoors!
The centerpiece of the park is the 1.9 mile trail which encircles the beautiful lake. It's the perfect place for families to walk or bike, because it's not only lit, but it's equipped with emergency phones, so you can ensure you have a safe and clean outdoor experience - as well as one that will keep you active out in that beautiful sunshine!
Why not take a picnic for the day and just relax on the grass? There are plenty of places for kids to play, and run, and hide...and generally have a great time!
It's also a great way for kids to learn about conservation, because the water for the 100 acre lake in the center is actually supplied by storm water, so it's all environmentally friendly.
Want to have a little more adventure? Why not spend some time fishing in the lake? There are pletny of great fishing points from the shore if you don't have a boat. It's actually one of the best cat fishing spots in the state!
If you have a sail boat or a canoe, bring that along too! They also have boat rentals if you want.
What's that? It's summer and you want to cool down? Look no further because you can SWIM in the lake too! There isn't a lifeguard but there are free life jackets for you. Head to the designated beach area to enjoy those summer splashes!
A park in a city? You bet there is! Gray's Lake Park is waiting for you!
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
6am to 10am Nov to March / 5am - midnight rest of year
All year round
There are concession stands in the spring and summer!.
Why not bring a picnic and enjoy some lunch on the grass in the shade! Make a full day of it.
Any Top Tips?
Make sure you take your hat on those hot days! .
Doing our bit
Parks and recreation have made it an amazing place! There are free life jackets for swimming, and make sure you help them keep it clean by picking up after yourselves when you leave.
Need a little extra help?
The path is accessible to wheelchairs.
Can I get one of those?
The boat rentals are available from 10am - 7pm..
Glass containers and dogs aren't permitted at the beach. No alcohol is allowed within the park at all. .
What people are saying?
by Cathy Barr
Love everything about it paddle boat,walking and a place to relax and meditate. :)
by Mary Vang
Wonderful recreational trail. Lots to do for families.
by Jason Mrachina
Best place to run outdoors in des moines. Love the trails
by Tony Simons
Love this place!
by Jasper E
love the path needs to be more places like this