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Big Creek State Park, IA

Status: Open through Wed Sep 30 2015   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Mon Oct 05 2015   Later Dates
13 site(s) found
ALL (13)


Big Creek State Park is one of the most beautiful recreation areas in central Iowa. Whether you are boating, fishing, swimming, hunting or enjoying any of the many other outdoor activities this park and the adjacent federal and county parks provide, you are sure to enjoy your stay.

This state park is a wildlife refuge and hunting is not permitted. Hunting is allowed on the lake and in designated public hunting areas around the lake. The Charles Butch Olofson Shooting Range (515-795-2067) offering rifle, handgun, trap and skeet,and hunter safety classes is located 3 miles west of the park off of NW Madrid Drive.


Lake Activities
The Big Creek beach area provides 1,300 feet of swimming opportunity with a large playground, volleyball courts, open areas, and shelter and picnic sites. The beach concession and boat rental (515-984-6083) is one of the finest concessions in the state offering pontoons, fishing boats, sailboats, canoes, hydra bikes, paddleboats, kayaks and bicycle rental. The concession also offers food, bait, fishing tackle and license sales. Dry dock storage is also available near the beach.

Big Creek Lake provides excellent fishing year-round. The lake's clear waters are stocked with crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, walleye, channel catfish and muskie. The lake is popular for a variety of boating activities. Any size motor may be operated at no wake speeds on the lake. Five modern boat ramps, three on the west side and two on the east, provide excellent access to the lake. Sailboat rigging zones and vehicle parking areas are at each modern boat ramp. An 88-berth dry dock area is at the northeast corner of the park. Arrangements for rental of dry-docking space may be made through the park office. A fishing pier is accessible to the mobility impaired. The lake is a wake speed lake.

A 26 mile paved multi-use trail allows bicyclists and pedestrians to travel from the beach south through the Saylorville Lake area and Des Moines River Valley, ending in Des Moines. For winter fun, there is an 11 mile snowmobile trail circling the lake and several groomed cross-country ski trails in the Hampton picnic area. Bicycling
The Central State Park Bike Route is a 91 mile route which connects Big Creek State Park, Ledges State Park and Springbrook State Park. It is relatively flat, with a few challenging hills as you make your way across the valleys of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.


There is no camping at Big Creek State Park. Shelters
Thirteen open picnic shelters are located around the park are very popular for family gatherings, graduation parties, and birthday parties.

Nearby Attractions:

Local Event/Attractions
The parks hosts a number of events throughout the summer: Disc Golf Tournaments (May/July), Best Dam Bike Ride (June), Special Person Fishing Days (June), Model Air Contest (May/August), Regional Big Creek Triathlon (August), Cy-Man Triathlon (September), Big Creek Fall Bike Ride (September), Super Plunge/Polar Plunge (November), and several fishing tournaments. All events provide competition, fun and entertainment. Nearby Towns

Polk City is 2 miles south on NW Madrid Drive. Des Moines is 11 miles south. Ankeny is 8 miles southeast. Madrid is 7 miles north. Ames is 20 miles north.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • 18-hole Frisbee/Disc Golf Course
  • Bait
  • Bicycling
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boat Rental
  • Boating
  • Canoe Rental
  • Canoeing
  • Concession
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Dock Slips
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Fishing
  • Fuel, Boats
  • Hiking
  • Icefishing
  • Jogging/Running
  • Modern Restroom
  • Paddle Boat Rentals
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Sail Boating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Swimming - Beach
  • Walking
  • Water Hydrants
  • Water Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Golf
  • Hunting
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • Archery
  • Fuel, Vehicles
  • Marina
  • Medical Clinic
Within 10 Miles
  • Horseback Riding
  • Visitor Center
Greater Than 10 Miles
  • Hospital
Alerts and Important Information

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.81528, -93.75861
41°48'55"N, 93°45'31"W

From Polk City square go west approximately 2 miles on NW Madrid Dr. West Broadway St. in town and turn right on Big Creek Dr. to enter the southeast side of the park. From Polk City square go west 2.5 miles on NW Madrid Dr. West Broadway St. in town and turn right on Williams Dr. to access the west side picnic areas/boat ramps.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Big Creek State Park
8794 NW 125th Ave
Polk City  IA  50226

Phone Number:

Project Office: (515) 984-6473