Next on our "Wheelchair Accessible Parks in Iowa" tour is the old but beautiful grounds of the Fort Des Moines Park. Located in Polk County, in Des Moines, Iowa, this park was once a Calvary Post that was established in 1903. Fort Des Moines Cavalry Post made its home at the "Ritz Carlton of the Army" well over half a century ago. It was formerly U.S. Government property, and served as the first Officers' Training Camp for African-American cadets and the U.S. Women's Auxiliary Army Corps throughout World War II. With all that history, Fort Des Moines Park officially became Polk County Conservation property in 1972.
The park is open 8 am to 7 pm and offers an arboretum, boating, fishing with fish that are safe to catch and eat, geocaching, picnicking, an outdoor classroom, and a playground. The park is located at 7200 Southeast 5th Street in Des Moines, Iowa. The arboretum consists of 39 trees well suited for central Iowa and each tree bears a small plaque for identification.
The 135-acre park is home to a 14-acre lake and 2 miles of a nature trail. The trail is paved but from photos, it looks like some parts of the trail are also gravel and dirt. The two miles of trail loops around a pond, the outdoor classroom, and through the heavy woodland.
The park has a 4.6-star rating out of 5 stars, of course. Many visitors are able to enjoy quality time with family while fishing and hiking. Some even enjoy mushroom and rock hunting. Weddings have been hosted at Fort Des Moines as visitors praise the lovely landscape. Deer and geese are among the wildlife seen at this park and some visitors can be caught laying out in their hammocks! Many have proclaimed the park to be serene, peaceful and clean. There is even a hidden gem. A long crescent-shaped dock that stretches out over the water and back into the land.
Sounds and looks beautiful! I know where I'm traveling to next! What about you? See you there!
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