Parks and Trails

Parks, Lakes and Trails

State and County Parks

Annett Nature Center & Park, Indianola

Nature Center, pond, trails, prairie, fishing, butterfly garden

Bank Swallow Bend Wildlife Area, Ackworth

Hunting, bird watching, mowed trails

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park, Carlisle

Picnicking, Biking, Boating, Fishing

Blue Flag Marsh, Norwalk

Wetland mitigation, hunting, wildlife observation

Grant Park, Swan

Picnic shelter, pond, wooded trails, campsites

Hickory Hills Park, New Virginia

Camping, fishing pond, hiking trail, homestead site, shelter

Hooper Area Pond, 6 miles SW of Indianola

Fishing, Boat Access 

Lake Ahquabi State Park, Indianola

Shelters, Lodge, Camping, 6.5 miles of gravel trails, Swimming, Boating, Fishing

Lake Colchester, Norwalk

Fishing, Boating

Lundy Acres, Indianola

Trail, Woods, Picnic Area

Otter Creek Park, Indianola

Picnic area, trails, campsites, prairie, pond

Woodland Mounds Preserve, Ackworth

Timber habitat, 3 mile loop trail, picnic area, hunting

Zo-El Annett Woods, Prole

Hiking trail, woodland


City Parks

Norwalk - Norwalk's City Parks feature several notable attractions: 

Indianola - Indianola's 14 City Parks include:

  • Buxton Park Arboretum, with a butterfly garden, ornamental fountain, wind sculptures, and gazebo
  • Pickard Park, the city's largest park and home to hiking trails and native prairie

CarlisleCarlisle's historic North Park features a log cabin and gardens, while South Park is home to the baseball complex.

Other - Other City Park offerings include Centennial Park and City Park in Milo, Gerry Allen Memorial Park and Lion's Park in New Virginia, City Park in Cumming, Lacona Park in Lacona, and Hartford's City Park.




Carlisle Nature Trail, Carlisle

3.3 miles. Connects to Summerset Trail.

Great Western Trail, Warren and Polk Counties

16.5 miles. Des Moines to Martensdale.

Jerry Kelley Trail, Indianola

1 mile. Memorial Park to Summerset Trail.

McVay Trail, Indianola

1.6 miles. Pickard Park to Summerset Trail.

Summerset Trail

11 miles. Carlisle to Indianola.


The following State and County parks have unpaved trails (refer to previous section, "parks & lakes," for more information):

  • Annett Nature Center 
  • Bank Swallow Bend Wildlife Area (mowed trails)
  • Grant Park
  • Lake Ahquabi State Park (6.5 miles of trails)
  • Lundy Acres
  • Otter Creek Park
  • Woodland Mounds (3-mile loop trail)
  • Zo-El Annett Woods




Something missing? We do our best to maintain a complete and accurate list, but we welcome you to contact us with any suggested changes.


Header photo credit: Lake: Kvhuegel [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]