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Beginning just past the junction of the Johnston Interurban Trail and the Trestle to Trestle Trail, which carries users over the creek and south into Des Moines via the area's stellar system of trails, the Beaver Creek Greenbelt Trail provides trail users with a more serene, natural experience, while also serving to provide connections to additional local trails and neighborhoods. Deer and other wildlife abound in the Beaver Creek Natural Resource Area, and this pleasant paved path provides a great escape amid its suburban surroundings.
Starting in the east, the trail winds its way along the route of its namesake creek, traversing through wooded land just a short distance away from major roads and highways. The trail then comes to a fork; heading southwest across the creek takes you onto to Johnston to Urbandale Trail, which connects to a series of parks on the northern edge of Urbandale. Heading northwest continues along the Beaver Creek Greenbelt Trail, which passes by tennis courts and another offshoot path that provides access to the neighborhoods adjoining the trail. The trail runs through Terra Park, offering restrooms and picnic tables to trail users, before coming to another fork. Trail users can proceed in either direction to take a loop through the series of fields; on the northeastern side of the loop, the trail connects to the South Drive Recreation Trail, a sidepath that in turn connects to the sidepath on Northwest 62nd Avenue - linking the natural area with the center of Johnston. The northwestern side of the loop offers another branch of trail across the creek, leading into a series of suburban neighborhoods to the west and the 55-acre Lew Clarkson Park to the south, home to additional restrooms, a playground, and a host of baseball fields. Providing excellent recreation opportunities and forming a vital link in the area trail system, the Beaver Creek Greenbelt Trail is an asset for locals and visitors alike.
Parking is available at Lew Clarkson Park off of NW 54th Avenue on the trail's western end, and at Terra Park near the midpoint of the trail, off of Pioneer Parkway. Both parks are easily accessible from Interstate 35; to reach Lew Clarkson Park, take exit 129 and turn north onto NW 86th Street. Turn right onto NW 54th Avenue, the park entrance will be on the left in less than a mile.
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