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COTTONWOOD RECREATION AREA, IA

part ofSAYLORVILLE LAKE, US Army Corps of Engineers
Status: Closed through Tue Apr 14 2015   Season Dates
 

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.

Activities 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
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.


  • 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.

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
Recreation.gov helps you discover and book trips to all of America's public places.
Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

Agency Partners