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DSM Parks Recognized for Trails

DSM Parks Recognized for Trails

June 21, 2019

It’s no surprise to those of us who live here: Greater Des Moines (DSM) has an incredible park system. But now, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) has ranked DSM 39thon the annual list of best city park systems in the country, beating out the likes of Atlanta and Austin. 

An Ideal Ranking 

TPL released their 2019 rankings based on four factors, including acreage, investment, amenities and access. This is DSM’s first time participating in the rankings. Julia Busiek, an employee at TPL who is from DSM, asserts that “the bike trail network should be the envy of every other city in the ParkScore ranking,” in a May 22 Des Moines Register article

DSM is in fact home to an extensive and growing trails system, utilized by bikers, runners, and within the Downtown DSM hub, artists. From Western Gateway Park with its winding walkways through 4.4 acres and 28 sculptures to the connected Center Trails in Greenwood/Ashworthjust south of the Des Moines Art Center, it’s easy to find a trail nearby wherever you might be in the city. Read about how the Pappajohn Sculpture Park is unlike any other park in the countryor about five local trails that should be on your to-do list this summer.

There are more than 800 miles of connected trails in DSM. According to the Central Iowa Trails Association (CITA), DSM is also host to 70 miles of off-road trails, perfect for mountain biking and hiking. CITA even hosts weekly dirt rides throughout the spring, summer and fall. 

Ewing Park— DSM’s largest at 355 acres — is home to a disc golf course, lilac arboretum and the Ashley Okland Star Playground. Located along Indianola Road and near Easter Lake, the park boasts three trails on DSM’s south side. 

What’s Ahead in 2019

On average, Downtown DSM sees around 40 development projects happening at one time, including investment into the local parks and outdoor spaces. 

In 2019, the newly built Lauridsen Amphitheater in Water Works Park will welcome exciting talent, including Clint Black, The Flaming Lips, Ben Folds and concerts featuring the Des Moines Symphony all summer long. 

Nearby at Gray’s Lake, a newly resurfaced Kruidenier Trail will open in June. 

Learn more about outdoor recreationin DSM or find a complete list of parks in DSM on the City of Des Moines website.

Named as the #1 Metro with the Most Community Pride by Gallup, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here
Courtney Shaw

Courtney Shaw is senior vice president of communications for the Greater Des Moines Partnership.