Best lakes in Des Moines

Check out the top lakes in Des Moines, reviewed and ranked by the city’s locals
1. Gray's Lake Park
1. Gray's Lake Park
host-0host-1host-2
10 local reviews
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Jenny
This lake is a great place to take the family for a picnic, walk, and enjoy the sites. A trip around the lake…
Eric
Awesome spot to chill on the beach, enjoy the swing set and jungle gym, walk/bike/rollerblade around the lake…
Tyler
Excellent paved walking trail that follows the rim of the lake. Beautiful views and even a beach for swimming!…
1. Gray's Lake Park
1. Gray's Lake Park
host-0host-1host-2
10 local reviews
Jenny
Jenny
This lake is a great place to take the family for a picnic, walk, and enjoy the sites. A trip around the lake is 2 miles and there is a…
Eric
Eric
Awesome spot to chill on the beach, enjoy the swing set and jungle gym, walk/bike/rollerblade around the lake. Head across the street and…
Tyler
Tyler
Excellent paved walking trail that follows the rim of the lake. Beautiful views and even a beach for swimming! You can also rent paddle…
2. Lake Red Rock
2. Lake Red Rock
host-0host-1host-2
7 local reviews
Lake Red Rock
Natural featureEstablishment
Libby
Largest Lake in Iowa with the mile long bridge on highway 14. Elk rock park has many hiking and horseback…
Deanna + Darrell
Lake Red Rock is Iowa's largest man made lake. The Volksweg (bike/walking trail) meanders around Lake Red…
Megan
Largest lake in Iowa, great for kayaking, birdwatching, boating, etc. Beautiful red rock bluffs
2. Lake Red Rock
2. Lake Red Rock
host-0host-1host-2
7 local reviews
Lake Red Rock
Libby
Libby
Largest Lake in Iowa with the mile long bridge on highway 14. Elk rock park has many hiking and horseback riding trails
Deanna + Darrell
Deanna + Darrell
Lake Red Rock is Iowa's largest man made lake. The Volksweg (bike/walking trail) meanders around Lake Red Rock.
Megan
Megan
Largest lake in Iowa, great for kayaking, birdwatching, boating, etc. Beautiful red rock bluffs
3. Ada Hayden Heritage Park
3. Ada Hayden Heritage Park
host-0host-1host-2
6 local reviews
5205 Grand Ave, Ames
Open · Closes 10:30 PM
+1 515-239-5360
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Kalynn
A walking path around a big beautiful lake. Great for picnics, fishing, biking, walking, kayaking, canoeing,…
Cassie
Ada Hayden has a paved trail and several gravel trails around a lake that are great for walks or biking. Rent…
Catherine
Large walking trails with more than 3 miles of trails around the lake. Paddle board, kayak and fishing.
3. Ada Hayden Heritage Park
3. Ada Hayden Heritage Park
host-0host-1host-2
6 local reviews
5205 Grand Ave, Ames
Open · Closes 10:30 PM
+1 515-239-5360
Kalynn
Kalynn
A walking path around a big beautiful lake. Great for picnics, fishing, biking, walking, kayaking, canoeing, row-boating, and jogging. Rent…
Cassie
Cassie
Ada Hayden has a paved trail and several gravel trails around a lake that are great for walks or biking. Rent kayaks from local business Jax…
Catherine
Catherine
Large walking trails with more than 3 miles of trails around the lake. Paddle board, kayak and fishing.
4. Grays Lake
4. Grays Lake
host-0host-1host-2
7 local reviews
Grays Lake, Des Moines
Route
Carla
Gray's Lake is a 167 acre gem in the heart of the city. A trail encircles the lake and is lit for evening…
Emily
Great opportunities for walking, running, biking and other activities. It's a 1.9 mile trail around the lake…
Corrine
Excellent local park with lake and trails.
4. Grays Lake
4. Grays Lake
host-0host-1host-2
7 local reviews
Grays Lake, Des Moines
Carla
Carla
Gray's Lake is a 167 acre gem in the heart of the city. A trail encircles the lake and is lit for evening walks or bike ride. There is a…
Emily
Emily
Great opportunities for walking, running, biking and other activities. It's a 1.9 mile trail around the lake with views of the downtown…
Corrine
Corrine
Excellent local park with lake and trails.
5. Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
5. Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
host-0host-1host-2
5 local reviews
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake, Ames
Natural featureEstablishment
Christopher
The lake has a paved walking path around the entirety of it which is about a 3 mile walk. There are more…
Pam
Ada Hayden is just down the road.( 6 blocks or less) You can also drive to the other side of the lake.
Patti
Walking, biking and running paths, lake is great for canoeing or kayaking,
5. Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
5. Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
host-0host-1host-2
5 local reviews
Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake, Ames
Christopher
Christopher
The lake has a paved walking path around the entirety of it which is about a 3 mile walk. There are more secluded paths that branch out from…
Pam
Pam
Ada Hayden is just down the road.( 6 blocks or less) You can also drive to the other side of the lake.
Patti
Patti
Walking, biking and running paths, lake is great for canoeing or kayaking,
6. Gray's Lake Park
6. Gray's Lake Park
host-0
6 local reviews
2101 Fleur Drive, Des Moines
(515) 237-1386
Establishment
Dat & Alan
With its many opportunities for walking, biking, and other activities, Gray’s Lake Park is the “Place to Meet”…
6. Gray's Lake Park
6. Gray's Lake Park
host-0
6 local reviews
2101 Fleur Drive, Des Moines
(515) 237-1386
Dat & Alan
Dat & Alan
With its many opportunities for walking, biking, and other activities, Gray’s Lake Park is the “Place to Meet” in the Des Moines Metro area.
7. Water Works Park
7. Water Works Park
host-0
4 local reviews
2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 515-283-8791
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Dat & Alan
Water Works Park is a 1,500 acre park near downtown Des Moines, Iowa. It is one of the largest urban parks in…
7. Water Works Park
7. Water Works Park
host-0
4 local reviews
2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 515-283-8791
Dat & Alan
Dat & Alan
Water Works Park is a 1,500 acre park near downtown Des Moines, Iowa. It is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. Right across Gray's…
8. Confluence Brewing Company
8. Confluence Brewing Company
host-0host-1
13 local reviews
1235 Thomas Beck Rd, Des Moines
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 515-285-9005
Liquor storeStorePoint of interest
Jenny
Confluence is a staple brewery in town. You are welcome to bring kids, and they usually have a food truck set…
Andrea
Great back patio, good beers. There's a path from the patio to Grey's Lake, for a nice post-beer walk.
8. Confluence Brewing Company
8. Confluence Brewing Company
host-0host-1
13 local reviews
1235 Thomas Beck Rd, Des Moines
Open · Closes 10:00 PM
+1 515-285-9005
Jenny
Jenny
Confluence is a staple brewery in town. You are welcome to bring kids, and they usually have a food truck set up outside. Another perk is…
Andrea
Andrea
Great back patio, good beers. There's a path from the patio to Grey's Lake, for a nice post-beer walk.
9. Cordova Observation Tower
9. Cordova Observation Tower
host-0host-1
2 local reviews
1293 Emerald Ave, Otley
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
Point of interestEstablishment
Hannah
After climbing a hearty number of stairs, you reach the top of the Cordova Tower! This beautiful view allows…
Hugh
Awesome views of Lake Red Rock. Really great nature trails at Cordova park also.
9. Cordova Observation Tower
9. Cordova Observation Tower
host-0host-1
2 local reviews
1293 Emerald Ave, Otley
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
Hannah
Hannah
After climbing a hearty number of stairs, you reach the top of the Cordova Tower! This beautiful view allows you to see for miles over and…
Hugh
Hugh
Awesome views of Lake Red Rock. Really great nature trails at Cordova park also.