Des Moines, IA

Saylorville Lake & Neil Smith Trail

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Saylorville Lake is a popular recreational facility located 10 miles north of Des Moines. It’s a great spot for a run, using the Neil Smith Trail. A good place to pick it up is at the Saylorville Lake Visitor Center at the southern end of the lake. From there, the paved multi-use path heads north along the lake for up to 13.7 miles to the northern end of Big Creek Lake in Big Creek State Park, winding through woodlands, prairie, and wetlands, with views of Saylorville Lake. It has hills and curves, which are unique to trails in this area.

Add-On/Options: From the south end of Saylorville Lake, you can continue south toward Des Moines along our Des Moines River route, using the Neil Smith Trail & other trails. Up to 11 miles to downtown.

Essentials
  • Up to 13.7 miles (22 km) from Saylorville Lake Visitor Center to northern end of Big Creek Lake. The Neil Smith Trail also heads south along the Des Moines River
  • 574 feet (174m) over 13.7 miles headed north
  • Saylorville Lake Visitor Center

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Essentials
  • Up to 13.7 miles (22 km) from Saylorville Lake Visitor Center to northern end of Big Creek Lake. The Neil Smith Trail also heads south along the Des Moines River
  • 574 feet (174m) over 13.7 miles headed north
  • Saylorville Lake Visitor Center