Fort Des Moines Park

Fishing Dock
Outdoor Classroom

This 135-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 picnic shelters, a children's playground, and an arboretum. 

More than half a century has passed since the Fort Des Moines Cavalry 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
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching  
  • Picnicking
  • Shelters
  • Playground (near shelter #2)
  • Nature Trails

Operating Hours & Seasons

  • Summer Hours (April 1 -October 31) | 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 
  • Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31) | Sunrise to sunset