Greenwood Park: The Clare & Miles Mills Rose Garden at historic Greenwood Park in Des Moines is a favorite local spot. It features more than 100 rose varieties spread over 4.5 acres. You can literally stop and smell the roses.
World Food Prize: The small garden at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in downtown Des Moines blooms with tulips and other cheerful spring flowers. Located along the Principal Riverwalk, this garden is a peaceful pitstop during a walk or bike ride.
Hit the Des Moines trails
The Des Moines metro has miles and miles of trails to explore on two legs or two wheels. Hiking and biking are great spring activities that you can enjoy solo.
Great Western Trail: Many trails in the metro link up, so you can ride for hours and explore new neighborhoods. This paved 16.5-mile trail starts near Water Works Park in Des Moines and ends south of the metro in Martensdale. Along the way, you’ll travel through farmland and wooded areas.
Raccoon River Park: This West Des Moines park is connected to the metro trail system and can be reached via the Jordan Creek trail. Raccoon River Park itself is over 631 acres and includes a 3.2-mile nature trail around Blue Heron Lake. This wooded trail is crushed rock in some spots and paved asphalt closer to the front of the park. You can see both the lake and the Raccoon River from certain spots on the trail. And, because the lake is a no-wake zone, it’s a great place to bring your kayak or canoe.
Brown’s Woods Forest Preserve: If your outdoor moment of Zen involves hiking, Brown’s Woods in West Des Moines is worth the trek. You’ll find more than 4 miles of trails of moderate difficulty to explore. Trail loops range from half a mile to 2 miles in length. These trails are only for hiking — no bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed.
Given the current circumstances, it’s a good idea to check a location’s website or Facebook page for park or trail closing information before you head out. For Des Moines parks, visit www.dsm.city/covid19 to check closings.
How are you getting outdoors to enjoy spring in the time of social distancing?