Attention: Use of facility for political events or activities is prohibited.

WALNUT RIDGE RECREATION AREA, IA

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.The area...

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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.

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.

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 electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, a playground, and hiking trails.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Playground
  • Biking
  • Disc Golf
  • Electric Hookups
  • Fishing
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Playground
  • Wildlife Viewing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Boat Ramp
Know Before You Go
  • No amplified sound system without 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.


  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

WALNUT RIDGE RECREATION AREA
5600 NW 78th Avenue
Johnston  IA  50131

Phone Number:

Project Office: (515)276-4656