Warren County is naturally set with an abundance of recreational activities for families and individuals to enjoy. There is fun for everyone from bikers to golfers, swimmers to fishermen and women. Warren County is the place in the Des Moines metropolitan to get outside, be active, and enjoy yourself.
The bike trail system is an excellent benefit to living in Warren County. The scenic Summerset Trail stretches 12 miles from Carlisle to Indianola. Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park is located on the trail. The Great Western Trail has a trailhead in Martensdale and ends 16.5 miles north near Water Works Park in Polk County. These trails are just one way to enjoy the beautiful landscape of Warren County.
Golfers will enjoy the selection of golf courses available in Warren County. The Legacy, a public golf course in Norwalk, boasts the first Global Positioning System on golf carts in the Des Moines area. This feature is useful in showing players the exact distance to various features on the course. Echo Valley Country Club, an outstanding 27-hole golf course in Norwalk, also features a driving range, practice bunkers, practice greens, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Norwalk is also home to Rolling Hills Golf Course and Countryside Golf Course. Deer Run, in Indianola, includes a 16-acre lake, 52-station practice range and putting green. Shady Oaks is a beautiful 18-hole course located in rural Ackworth. The Indianola Country Club also has a private eighteen-hole course.
Lake Ahquabi State Park
This scenic park offers visitors the opportunity to swim, boat, fish and picnic. There are also hiking trails as well as a children’s playground. In addition, Ahquabi has a gorgeous campground with sites close to the 115 acre lake. The campground has modern restrooms and showers for the 161 sites, some of which have electrical hookup. A beautiful stone lodge overlooking the lake may be rented through the park ranger for special occasions.
Summerset State Park
Warren County’s newest park offers a scenic landscape of Banner Lakes for fishing enthusiasts and boaters. Summerset Park is home to Central Iowa’s only trout fishery from October through May, and many other species may be found. A trout privilege in addition to the Iowa fishing license is required and maybe be purchased for $11. The lake is looped by a two-mile paved bike path that links to the Summerset Trail. Additionally, Banner Shooting Range connects to the park providing the opportunity for hunters and other visitors to practice. Fire grills and tables are located along the shoreline for picnics.
Conservation Areas & Groups
Warren County Conservation Board
The Warren County Conservation Board manages over 1,200 acres of land for the benefit of its citizens. Visitors can find areas to fish, hunt, cross country ski, picnic and camp, learn and much more on areas being conserved for this generation and generations to come.
Annett Nature Center
The Annett Nature Center is the site for many Conservation Board activities. It includes 10 acres of wetlands and also features trails and a butterfly garden. The Annett Nature Center hosts many school field trips and day camps to give children of Warren County the opportunity to experience nature.
Scotch Ridge Center
The area located in Carlisle was developed and continues to be as a place for preserving and learning about the unique environmental and cultural heritage of the northeast part of Warren County. The Scotch Ridge Center’s primary feature is an extremely rare transect of four distinct soil-based ecosystems.
Warren County and Central Iowa offer year round opportunities to attend sporting events at various levels of competition. Warren County offers everything from high school football, volleyball and basketball to Simpson College athletics. Just a short drive will take Warren County residents to semi-professional sporting events in Des Moines. America’s favorite pastime takes place each summer at Principal Park home of the popular Iowa Cubs minor league baseball team. The Buccaneers and Iowa Stars hockey games and Des Moines Menace soccer games are also popular and exciting Des Moines sporting traditions. Also, the Knoxville Raceway and Iowa Speedway, for racing fans is just a few minutes’ drive from any location in Warren County.
For more information on recreational opportunities, visit the Warren County Resource Center.