Southwoods Park is one of the most beautiful parks in West Des Moines. The 40-acre nature preserve is known for its dazzling display of wildflowers and hiking. It’s an excellent place to explore nature in an urban setting.
Southwoods Park is on the southeast side of West Des Moines. You’ll find it off South 35th Street, behind the Police Department and across from the library.
Things to do at Southwoods Park
Play disc golf
The nine-hole disc golf course at Southwoods Park is a favorite in the Des Moines area. It has a blend of short and long holes with pro and amateur tees on a hilly, wooded landscape. Golfers enjoy the challenge and the beauty of the course.
Walk the trails
The beautiful paved and dirt trails through Southwoods Park don’t disappoint! The wildflowers, woodlands, and creek make for scenic surroundings. The trails are short, but there are narrow paths through the woods and along the creek that take you further.
Go creek walking
The creek is perfect for creek walking, splashing, and exploring. It’s not too deep or swift, making it a good place for kids to play too.
A future singletrack trail
A future singletrack trail is part of the West Des Moines Five Waters plan. Singletracks are narrow trails off the beaten path, designed for hiking and mountain biking.
Trails at Southwoods Park
The Rothchild Memorial Nature Trail is a short paved trail near the parking area with nice views of the wildflowers. Just off the paved trail is a hiking trail that leads down steps to the creek.
And Jordan Creek Trail is also nearby. It’s a paved trail that gets you almost anywhere you want to go in West Des Moines. Eventually, it will become a segment of the Marathon Loop. The future 26.2-mile loop will link Raccoon River Park, Southwoods Park, and Valley View Park. It’s part of the Five Waters Project and is about half complete.
Other things to do nearby
Don’t miss Raccoon River Park, West Des Moines’ most popular park, about 3 miles southeast of the park. There you’ll find a ton of outdoor recreation, including paddling, swimming, hiking, archery, ice skating, and much more!
The West Des Moines Library is right across the road from Southwoods Park. Take the kids for a hike and stop in for story time!
The City Campus Pond behind the West Des Moines Library is a great place to walk and have a picnic.
Jamie Hurd Amphitheater is near the City Campus Pond. It hosts outdoor performances, concerts, and other festivities. Lawn seating accommodates up to 2000 people, making it an ideal space for large events.
Ashawa Park is near the library off of Mills Civic Parkway. There you’ll find a nice playground, basketball hoops, a picnic shelter, and restrooms.
Visit Southwoods Park today!
Southwoods Park is at 350 S. 35th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.
From I-35, take Exit 70. Turn east on Mills Civic Parkway and left on S. 35th Street, just past the library. The park is on the east side of S. 35th Street.
Free parking is available on site. There are no restrooms at the park. Public restrooms are available across the street at the library and amphitheater.