WALNUT RIDGE RECREATION AREA

jonathan.d.wuebker@usace.army.mil

Overview

Walnut Ridge Recreation Area is a day-use facility located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

Recreation

The 18-hole Walnut Ridge Disc Golf Course runs throughout the recreation area. The beautifully manicured course contains both open and wooded fairways with blind pins and tunnel shots.

Visitors come to Saylorville Lake for its great boating, sailing and swimming opportunities. Anglers fish for walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike.

The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

Facilities

This day-use area offers three group picnic shelters with water and electricity. Amenities include flush toilets, a playground, and hiking trails.

Natural Features

The area is situated on a wooded ridgeland on the west side of Saylorville Lake. Large shade trees cover the area.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.Use address 9125 NW Beave Drive, Johnston IA 50131. From I-35/80 north of Des Moines, take Johnston/Saylorville Lake Exit (131). Go north on Merle Hay Rd for 2.7 miles, then turn left onto NW Beaver Drive for 3.1 miles. Recreation area is 0.3 miles ahead on the right.515-276-4656N