COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA, IA

Cottonwood Recreation Area is a day-use facility located in the tailwater area below Saylorville Dam. The 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming...
Status: Open through Sun Oct 12 2014   Season Dates

Book a Campsite at COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA, IA

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Know Before You Go
  • No amplified sound system without a permit
  • If shelters are not reserved, they are available free of charge on a first come, first served basis
  • Playgrounds and restrooms near shelters are open to the public
  • Click here for more information
  • Click here for a virtual tour of the Saylorville Lake area.


9 site(s) found
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Site# Loop Site type Max # of people Equip length/ Driveway Amenities Online availability
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COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 75 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 250 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 100 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water - no
Enter Date
COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA GROUP PICNIC AREA 75 20
Electric Hookup Full Hookup - no
Pets Allowed Near Water
Enter Date
Footnotes: (applicable only where specifically marked above)
** Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the campground.
*** Some sites may be available only from the campground on a first-come-first-served basis.
Photos
Overview

Overview

Cottonwood Recreation Area is a day-use facility located in the tailwater area below Saylorville Dam. The 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project 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.

Natural Features:

Cottonwood covers a large open and flat lowland area bordering the east side of the Des Moines River.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

Recreation:

Visitors come to Saylorville Lake for its great boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing 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:

The day-use area offers nine group picnic areas with water and electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, a volleyball court, playground and hiking trails.

Booking Window
Wed Jul 30 2014 - Sun Jul 26 2015

Reservations must be made 4 Days(s) ahead of arrival and can be made up to 12 Month(s) in advance.

Season Dates

Season Schedule

Park Season Start End
Peak Mon Apr 14 2014 Sun Oct 12 2014
Peak Wed Apr 15 2015 Sun Oct 18 2015
Services and Amenities
Within Facility
  • Accessible Fishing Dock
  • Accessible Playground
  • Biking
  • Electric Hookups
  • Fish Cleaning Stations
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Playground
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Boat Ramp
Fees and Cancellation Policies

Fees and Cancellation

Fee Information
Payment in full will be charged to your credit card upon completion of the reservation. A $9.00 non-refundable on line reservation fee may be charged for some facilities.

Payment Methods Accepted On-line:
Visa Mastercard Amex Discover UnionPay JCB

Changes and Cancellations
A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change or cancel your reservation. Late cancellations are subject to additional fees. For full details see NRRS Reservation Policy


Facility Rates*
Park Season Site Type Nightly/Daily Rates
Peak Season
Apr 14 2014 -
Oct 12 2014
GROUP PICNIC AREA $50.00
Peak Season
Apr 15 2015 -
Oct 18 2015
GROUP PICNIC AREA $50.00

*Displayed rates do not reflect discounts, attribute fees (electrical hook-ups / water hook-ups), taxes or incremental charges
**Weekly rates may not be available for all sites
Getting There
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
41.69056, -93.67472
41°41'26"N, 93°40'29"W

From I-35, take Exit 90 in Ankeny and head approxmately 3.5 miles west to NW 84th Ave. Turn Left on 84th Ave and head south apprximately 1.5 miles to Cottonwood Recreation Area on the right.
Contact Information

Mailing Address:

COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA
7400 NW 37th Street
Ankeny  IA  50223

Phone Number:

Project Office: (515)276-4656
Additional Information