Are you a walker, jogger or biker in search of interesting places to exercise? Consider Des Moines Water Works Park. Nestled just a few minutes from downtown Des Moines and directly across from Grays Lake, it is a fabulous place to enjoy the outdoors. The park offers the arboretum with a beautiful fountain, countless varieties of crab apples that bloom in the spring, tons of beautiful flowers and a gazebo to offer shade when it’s hot.
Many are familiar with the ‘visible’ areas of the park. The real fun can often be found off the beaten path. Just off George Flagg Parkway (formerly named Valley Drive), you will find the iron bridge. Cars are not allowed across the bridge, so you can enjoy a quite nature walk. If you continue a short ways north of the bridge, you will notice the horses from the stables. They will often greet you by rushing to the fence. If you continue on this path, you will eventually cross over the Raccoon River and head into the South of Grand area. At this point you have multiple choices; to continue on to 63rd and Grand, veer to the west to head into West Des Moines or to the east to head into Greenwood Park. Crossing the bridge is just one of the many options for walking paths in the park.
Routine walkers in the park know they may encounter new experiences each day. Bald eagles have been seen nesting along the east/west road. Deer, wild turkeys, countless bird varieties, snakes, frogs, and turtles round out some of the wildlife regularly seen on or along the paths. A variety of water fowl and their babies can be found waddling along the ponds. But if nature is not your bag, strike up a conversation with visitors in the park. There are always people fishing that are more than happy to tell their fish stories.
The park is flat, ideal for the leisurely walker. The park is vast, ideal for the serious walker. The park is fun, ideal for anyone. Pick your desired distance, lace up your shoes and enjoy the park.