Mark C. Ackelson Trail


4 Reviews

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Mark C. Ackelson Trail Facts

States: Iowa
Counties: Polk
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: Indianola Ave. and East Payton Ave.
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 10532456

Mark C. Ackelson Trail Description

It may be hard to believe now when you see children laughing on the playground and neighbors out on a morning jog but Easter Lake and the park that surrounds it sit on the site of a coal mine that operated well into the 1950s. Thanks to the foresight of some local residents, the site was restored into an additional recreation space for the citizens of Des Moines to enjoy.

The Mark C. Ackelson Trail circles Easter Lake, while providing access from surrounding neighborhoods, and a connection to Ewing Park. The trail is 12-foot wide concrete and features a covered bridge on the southeast shore of the lake – Owens Bridge has the distinction of being the only covered bridge in Polk County and was built in 1878 on a road over the old North River channel (the channel and the road were later moved and the bridge was relocated to its present location for preservation). Walking, biking and skating are all popular trail activities here. The trail is named for the environmentalist Mark Ackelson, who served as president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for 18 years, working to preserve and promote trails and open space across the state.  

Parking and Trail Access

Park at Easter Lake Park, located at 2830 Easter Lake Drive, Des Moines.

If you live in the vicinity you can make a sidewalk connection to the trail

Mark C. Ackelson Trail Reviews

great walk!

Amazing walking area. Will go back.

Nice outdoorsy walk in the city.

Excellent walking trail for those who aren't fond of steep inclines. This trail has a few mild ups and downs but for the most part is level and flat. The surface is all paved and smooth and with the lake, the trees and blue sky, it's beautiful. Wildlife, a couple of walking bridges and a covered bridge make it even more enjoyable. Casual walking takes about 2-3 hours (5-6 miles).

scenic ride

This is one of the best rides we have found in Des Moines. Pretty level and wide. Couple of nice bridges including a covered one! Nice places to stop and rest and view the scenery.

Mark C Ackelson Trail

Beautiful ride. Wide concrete trail around a lake. Wooded, bridges, scenic. Plenty of places to stop with picnic tables.

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