Get some R&R with your pupper by your side at the Big Creek State Park. Covering 3,550 acres in central Iowa, this pawsome site features the 866-acre Big Creek Lake, which was primarily built to protect Polk City from floods. Today, it offers a wide range of recreational activities as well, and many visit the park to swim, boat, and fish.
Bring your kayak and explore the lake's clear waters with your canine BFF. Five modern boat ramps, which can be found on the east and west sides, provide easy access to the lake. Steer clear of the one in the beach area, though, as state park beaches are off-limits to doggos. Sorry, water-loving canines, you'll have to swim elsewhere! Don't forget to strap on Fido's life jacket before you set off for a cruise down the lake.
If your pooch would rather stay on land, they'll be pleased to know that a 3-mile section of the 26-mile, multi-use Neal Smith Trail runs through the park. Should you and Fido follow this paved trail all the way through, it will take you past the Saylorville Lake area and Des Moines River valley before ending in Des Moines. While you're on the trail, keep your eyes peeled for some of the wildlife species that call the park home, and observe proper petiquette by keeping your furry friend on a 6-foot leash.
After you're done exploring, stop by one of the many picnic shelters scattered around the lake to rest your feet and paws. Don't forget to pack a yummy lunch to share with your four-legged adventurer! Restrooms are usually located near the shelters for your convenience. If your pup answers nature's call, be sure to pick up whatever they put down. Waste bags are not provided, so remember to bring your own.
Enjoy a relaxing day outdoors with your pooch at the Big Creek State Park!