The centerpiece of this beautiful park on the southside of Des Moines is its 172-acre lake. Five picnic shelters and three children's playgrounds overlook the lake. A boat ramp provides access for anglers trying to catch the walleye, bass, and catfish stocked by the Conservation Board into the lake every year. During the summer, a swimming beach provide another wonderful way to enjoy the lake.
The park opened in 1967 on the site of Polk County's last operating coal mine. After the strip mine shut down in 1959, the area was considered as a possible landfill site. However, neighborhood leaders joined together to form the South Town Lake and Development Society and promote the use of the site as a park.
The Owens Covered Bridge is the only covered bridge in Polk County. It was originally built in 1878 over the old North River channel on a road from Martin’s Ferry to Winterset. In 1939, the road and the North River channel were relocated north of the covered bridge site leaving the old bridge without a road and river. In 1968, Polk County Conservation Board promised to restore and move the bridge, board by board, nearly eight miles to Easter Lake Park. The bridge is located on the southern lake shore near Shelter #1.
In 2013, construction began on a multipurpose trail which when completed will encircle the lake with approximately 5.5 miles of paved trail. For construction details, visit our website at www.leadingyououtdoors.org or CLICK HERE FOR PROJECT INFORMATION