Strasser Woods State Preserve

Strasser Woods State Preserve contains a 40-acre tract of forest within the city limits of Des Moines. Joseph and Elizabeth Strasser, who had owned the property since 1965, donated the woodland to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1981. The area was transferred to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 1982 and dedicated as a biological state preserve. 


This 40-acre preserve within the City of Des Moines is owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and managed by Polk County Conservation. Enjoy the one-half mile hiking trail that winds through hilly upland woodlands which showcases a beautiful display of spring wildflowers.  Both the Fourmile Creek Greenway and Gay Lea Wilson trail run along the eastern boundary. Visitors enjoy hiking and mushroom hunting here. 

  • Dogs must be kept on a six-foot leash; please remember to pick up after your pets.

Parking: From University Avenue turn north onto East 36th Street. Go 3 blocks through a residential area to the parking area at the end of the street. 



Visitors may collect the following for non-commercial use if the plant is not harmed:

  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Edible mushrooms
Removing plants, hunting, trapping animals, and cutting wood is illegal here.

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

Related Items