Raccoon River Park, Des Moines Outdoors is an organization committed to assisting you in finding the finest of everything outdoors in Iowa. We are native Iowans who have been camping, hiking, biking, and exploring our beloved state for over 25 years. We encourage you to follow suit.
There is a lot more to see and do in Iowa than most people realize! Our mission is to let both visitors and locals enjoy the finest of our lovely state.
Raccoon River Park is the biggest public park in West Des Moines, Iowa, with about 632 acres. It’s also arguably the most popular, thanks to its almost limitless array of leisure activities.
Whether you want to spend a nice day outside or get some exercise in nature, you’ll find it all right here. In Raccoon River Park, you may paddle, fish, swim, cycle, walk, play, or picnic (among other activities).
Raccoon River Park’s Brief History
Raccoon River Park was created from an open-pit gravel and sand mine. Mining occurred between 1950 and 1991. Blue Heron Lake and its surrounding wetlands were formed as a result of the excavations.
The park’s acreage was bought by the City of West Des Moines in the late 1980s. They also collaborated with the Iowa DNR to create conservation and leisure zones.
A staged plan for the park’s development was completed in 1991, and construction began in 1994. The park’s features are still being added today, and it is now part of a bigger concept known as the Five Waters Project.