Badger Creek State Park, or Badger Creek State Recreation Area, is an 1100-acre outdoor area 20 miles southwest of Des Moines. It’s well known for its hunting, fishing, and sunflower fields!
Things to Do at Badger Creek State Park
See the Sunflowers!
The sunflower fields at Badger Creek Recreation Area are a huge draw each summer. From July to August, people come from miles around to see (and photograph) the beautiful sunflowers in bloom.
The sunflower fields get planted as food plots for doves. And the location of the sunflower fields can change from year to year. To find this year’s sunflower fields, go to the DNR’s Mourning Dove Hunting page & view the pdf for “Food Plot Sites.”
Badger Creek Lake is a popular destination for area anglers! The 276-acre lake is excellent for catching bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish.
Fish from shore or by boat at Badger Creek Lake. Several fishing jetties are around the lake for easy shore fishing. And there are two boat ramps, one on the lake’s east and one on the west side. The lake is a no-wake lake. So, though there are no motor restrictions, boaters must operate at low speeds.
For more, see the DNR’s printable lake map.
Badger Creek has more than 700-acres of public hunting land. Most hunt pheasants, ducks, doves, and small game here.
Kayak and Canoe Badger Creek Lake
Whether you’re fishing or not, the lake is an excellent place to kayak or canoe! It’s a no-wake lake, so there are no worries about large wakes from motorboats.
Things to Do Nearby
The Great Western Trail is 15 minutes east of Badger Creek. This 16-mile paved trail extends from Des Moines Water Works Park south to Martensdale. The closest trailhead from Badger Creek is in Cumming.
Raccoon River Park is 15 miles northeast of Badger Creek in West Des Moines. Find tons of outdoor activities there, like paddling, hiking, fishing, swimming, and more!
Kuehn Conservation Area is a 700-acre recreation area 20 miles to the northwest. Hike through the prairie and along the Raccoon River and go camping in the primitive tent sites.
Visit Badger Creek State Park Today!
Badger Creek State Recreation Area is at 120th St, Van Meter, IA 50261. Hours are 4:00 am to 10:30 pm. There are no restrooms or water on site.