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:  6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. (April 1 - October 31)

Winter Hours:  Sunrise to Sunset (November 1 - March 31)

Campgrounds are closed from December 1 - March 31 (except to walk-in tent camping, which is allowed year-round). Campground shower houses are open mid-April through mid-October. More information on camping can be found on our website at


Polk County Water and Land Legacy Park Improvements 

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 the following link: Bond Project Updates.