A beautiful 172-acre lake is the centerpiece of this 468+ acre park in southeastern Des Moines. Anglers love this lake filled with catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, and walleye. A swimming beach and accessible fishing pier are also available on the lake’s north side. Surrounding the lake, visitors enjoy a 4-mile paved trail, nature trails, picnicking, playgrounds, and viewing Polk County’s last remaining covered bridge.
Easter Lake Park's recreational facilities include:
Beach: The swimming beach at Easter Lake Park is free to the public. It is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day of the week beginning in May until winterization takes place at the end of September.
Renovations at Easter Lake began in September of 2017 to restore the watershed, clean up the lake waters, renovate the fishery, and more. Improvements included the addition of a multi-use trail that surrounds the lake, shoreline restoration, installation of erosion control mats and riprap, sediment control structures, a new boat ramp rebuild, invasive species control, repairing dam infrastructure, replacement of the bridge and Evergreen Ave. on the dam, and more.
Easter Lake began filling back up in January 2019 and was completely full by March 2019. A successful grand re-opening celebration was held on June 23, with over 1,500 people in attendance.
Other park improvements in 2019 included a new CXT restroom that was installed between Shelters #1 and #2 and stream stabilization that took place at the south entrance. The stream stabilization project addressed runoff from a completely urbanized 34-acre sub-watershed. Native plants and rocks checks were designed to help stabilize the channel. Additionally, a bioretention cell was constructed that helps to infiltrate stormwater and reduce pollutant loading from a nearby roadway and smaller sub-watershed.
In June of 2019, Polk County Conservation entered into an agreement with local Ankeny outdoor store Pingora Outdoors to serve as the Easter Lake Park concessionaire located at the beach. There, you can rent boats, and other summer equipment, as well as purchase food items.