Things to love about an Iowa Spring

Everything Iowa

Things to love about an Iowa Spring

Diane Heldt

Diane Heldt
May 06, 2020

woman running outside

Spring in bloom

Are spring flowers your thing? There are some great places in the Des Moines metro to snap Instagram-worthy blooms.

Ewing Park: The Lilac Arboretum at Ewing Park is a hidden gem on the city’s southeast side. The park boasts more than 1,000 lilac bushes in over 200 varieties, painting the rolling hills in white and violet during April and May. With plenty of open space, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy nature while keeping a safe distance from other lilac lovers.


    Greenwood Park: The Clare & Miles Mills Rose Garden at historic Greenwood Park in Des Moines is a favorite local spot. It features more than 100 rose varieties spread over 4.5 acres. You can literally stop and smell the roses.

    World Food Prize: The small garden at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in downtown Des Moines blooms with tulips and other cheerful spring flowers. Located along the Principal Riverwalk, this garden is a peaceful pitstop during a walk or bike ride.

      Hit the Des Moines trails

      The Des Moines metro has miles and miles of trails to explore on two legs or two wheels. Hiking and biking are great spring activities that you can enjoy solo.

      Great Western Trail: Many trails in the metro link up, so you can ride for hours and explore new neighborhoods. This paved 16.5-mile trail starts near Water Works Park in Des Moines and ends south of the metro in Martensdale. Along the way, you’ll travel through farmland and wooded areas.

      Raccoon River Park: This West Des Moines park is connected to the metro trail system and can be reached via the Jordan Creek trail. Raccoon River Park itself is over 631 acres and includes a 3.2-mile nature trail around Blue Heron Lake. This wooded trail is crushed rock in some spots and paved asphalt closer to the front of the park. You can see both the lake and the Raccoon River from certain spots on the trail. And, because the lake is a no-wake zone, it’s a great place to bring your kayak or canoe.

      Brown’s Woods Forest Preserve: If your outdoor moment of Zen involves hiking, Brown’s Woods in West Des Moines is worth the trek. You’ll find more than 4 miles of trails of moderate difficulty to explore. Trail loops range from half a mile to 2 miles in length. These trails are only for hiking — no bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed.

          Getting outside

          Given the current circumstances, it’s a good idea to check a location’s website or Facebook page for park or trail closing information before you head out. For Des Moines parks, visit www.dsm.city/covid19 to check closings.

          How are you getting outdoors to enjoy spring in the time of social distancing?

          Diane Heldt
          Get to know Diane

          Diane Heldt is a senior strategic communications supervisor at Two Rivers Marketing. She spends her days writing all types of content for clients and pitching articles to trade media. Outside of work, she likes to catch live music and cheer on the Cyclones. Reach out to Diane.