Fort Des Moines Park

This 117-acre park rests on a portion of the former Calvary post established on Army Post Road in 1903. Its centerpiece is a deep 14-acre lake, but the park also features two picnic shelters, a children's playground, and an arboretum. 

More than half a century has passed since the Fort Des Moines Calvary Post made its home at the "Ritz Carlton of the Army".  Formerly U.S. Government property, this parkland served as the first Officers' Training Camp for black cadets and the U.S. Women's Auxiliary Army Corps during World War II.  Fort Des Moines Park officially became Polk County Conservation property in 1972.  


Des Moines 
South of Army Post Rd. on S.E. 5th St. (Just west of Southridge Shopping Mall) 

Fort Des Moines Park

7200 SE 5th St
Des Moines, IA 50315 


  • Arboretum
  • Ball diamond
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching  
  • Picnicking
  • Playground 
  • Shelters
  • Nature Trail

Operating Hours & Seasons

Summer Hours:  8:00 a.m. - sunset
Winter Hours: 8:00 a.m. - sunset 


**Due to recent dredging and pond enhancements, fishing will not be allowed until 2015. This will allow the fish to spawn and grow. Thank you for your patience.

More information can be found at