The centerpiece of this beautiful park on the southside of Des Moines is its 172-acre lake. Five picnic shelters and two 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 and boat rental 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 now restricted to foot traffic and located on the southern lake shore near Shelter #1.
Southeast corner of Des Moines - East of SE 14th St. and north of Army Post Rd.
2830 Easter Lake Drive
Des Moines, Iowa
- Historic bridge
- Volleyball Courts
Operating Hours & Seasons
Summer Hours: 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. (daylight savings time in the spring until standard time in the fall)
Winter Hours: Sunrise to Sunset (standard time in the fall until daylight savings time in the spring)
Many exciting park and trail improvements are happening in
Polk County thanks in part to the Polk County Water and Land Legacy bond
referendum that was supported by voters in November of 2012. This may result in
closed recreation areas due to construction. We encourage the public to
stay involved and updated on these improvements by regularly visiting our
website at http://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/polk-county-water-and-legacy-bond/project-updates/