Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Sign
Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Sign
Rough Blazing Stars
Dog Jumping

Viewing Platform

Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt stretches for almost ten miles along the Skunk River in Northeast Polk County. When the Conservation Board first acquired property for the area in 1960, its intention was to preserve and restore the old oxbows of the original Skunk River channel. The area's natural features include old oxbow river channels and backwaters, marshes, and wetlands. Chichaqua also includes sandy upland hills with reconstructed prairies and native prairie remnants.


Chichaqua is a half hour northeast of Des Moines near Elkhart and Bondurant. From Interstate 35: exit at mile 96, go east on NE 126th Avenue through Elkhart, at t intersection turn north or left on NE 72nd Street., and turn south or right on NE 80th Street.

8700 NE 126th Avenue
Maxwell, IA  50161
(515) 967-2596



  • Camping -campsites available only on a first-come first-serve camping and are available April 1 - November 30
  • Canoeing - Reservations can be made in advance (for groups of 10+) by calling 515-249-5925. All other rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Dog training area
  • Enclosed shelter - reservations for the Chichaqua Longhouse may be made on this site - click on "Facitlities" tab
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Historic Bridge
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking  
  • Trap Range - reservations may be made by calling (515) 967-2596
  • Waterfowl Blinds - reservations may be made by calling (515) 967-2596 


Operating Hours & Seasons

  • Summer Hours (April 1 -October 31) | 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
    • The north side of Easter Lake Park is open sunrise to sunset year-round.
    • Fort Des Moines Park is open 8 a.m. to sunset year-round.
  • Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31) | Sunrise to sunset