Skip Navigation Links

Easter Lake Park

Biking Biking at Easter Lake Park

The 6.2 mile Mark C. Ackelson Trail winding around Easter Lake provides an ideal place for outdoor recreation and scenic views for park visitors. Cycling, skating and hiking opportunities along the trail lie adjacent to playground equipment, fishing complete with an accessible pier, boat ramp and several picnic areas. The trail rides through Owen's Covered Bridge on the southern lake shore, Polk County's only covered bridge. The portion of the trail that encircles the lake is a 4 mile loop. Parking and trail access is available from any of the shelters and parking lots located throughout Easter Lake Park as well as at the beach. The north side of the trail is accessible from the Ewing Park Dog Park.

The trail's namesake, Mark C. Ackelson, served as president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for 18 years as well as provided leadership in several conservation coalitions and alliances. Ackelson's devoted passion for land, water and wildlife served in helping the INHF to protect and restore 145,000 acres of Iowa's natural areas in addition to providing hundreds of miles of trails in an effort to support local trailside communities and get Iowans outdoors.

Boating Boating at Easter Lake Park

Fishing and boating access to 165-acre Easter Lake is provided by a boat ramp on the south shore of the lake off Easter Lake Drive. Boaters are advised to follow the "no wake" rules for this prime walleye, bass, and catfish spot on the southside of Des Moines.

Canoeing & Kayaking Canoeing & Kayaking at Easter Lake Park

Fishing and boating access to 165-acre Easter Lake is provided by a boat ramp on the south shore of the lake off Easter Lake Drive. 

Boat rentals are also available through Pingora Outdoors Company. Visit their website for further information: https://easterlakeboatrental.com/

Facility Rentals Facility Rentals at Easter Lake Park

Five picnic shelters are available by reservation or on a first-come basis. Shelters 1-4 offer volleyball. Shelters #1 and #5 have playgrounds nearby. Shelters #1, #2, #4 and #5 offer shoreline fishing. Shelter #3 is located near a hiking trail and offers volleyball court nearby. Shelter #4 is the largest shelter and has a deck overlooking the lake.

Reservations can be made using this website, by clicking on the MAKE RESERVATIONS tab above. 


Outdoor recreation equipment (paddleboards, bikes) and boat rental is available at the beach. 

What better place for fall colors than a covered bride at Easter Lake Park in Polk County!
Fishing Fishing at Easter Lake Park

This 165 acre lake was constructed in 1967.
Maximum depth: 26 feet
Average depth: 10 feet

No wake
ADA fishing pier are located north side of the park.
For more information on fishing or for a pond contour map, please visit our website at www.leadingyououtdoors.org or by clicking on the following link: FISHING INFORMATION

Geocaching Geocaching at Easter Lake Park

Geocaching has become a very popular activity for individuals and families to participate in. Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is to leave an item if they decide to take something from the cache. Visit geocaching.com for more details.

Polk County Conservation permits geocaching in keeping with its mission to provide opportunities for safe recreational activities. Geocachers are welcome to place a cache in PCC lands as long as they comply with the requirements of the geocache permit.

Historic Visits Historic Visits at Easter Lake 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.
Other Activities Other Activities at Easter Lake Park

ADA Accessible Playgrounds

Easter Lake has three ADA accessible playgrounds. They are located near shelter #1, #5 and at the swimming beach.


Outdoor Recreational Equipment Rental

The Easter Lake Boat Rental provides a wide selection of quality outdoor recreation rental equipment right on the beach at Easter Lake Park. Canoes • Kayaks • Stand Up Paddle Boards • Bikes • Fishing Boats • Craig Cats Drinks • Snacks • Bait • & More! Visit their website for more information: https://easterlakeboatrental.com/

Picnicking Picnicking at Easter Lake Park
Five picnic shelters are available by reservation or on a first-come basis. Several offer views of the lake and others are located in private, wooded settings. Picnic tables with grills are scattered throughout the park.
Swimming Swimming at Easter Lake Park
You can enjoy swimming at the Easter Lake Park Beach during the summer months.
The beach is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day of the week.
Beach use is FREE but there is no lifeguard on duty. 
Trails & Hiking Trails & Hiking at Easter Lake Park

The Wymore Trail is located in the woods between shelters # 3 and #4 on the south side of the lake. Several trail heads provide access to this 0.9 mile trails. Catch a glimpse of beautiful Easter Lake as you walk along this densely wooded trail. The Mark C. Ackelson 6.2 mile multiuse trail includes a 4 mile loop around Easter Lake.


Trail information and park maps may be found on our website at www.leadingyououtdoors.org or by clicking on this link: PARKS AND TRAILS