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Peterson Park West
Parks and Trails
Location: 55310 180th St.
Ames, IA 50010
Amenities: Boating, Canoeing, Designated Public Hunting Area, Free Parking, Hiking, Kayaking, Off-road Bicycling, Pets Allowed, Pond and River Fishing, Skunk River Water Trail Canoe Access, and Swimming
Maps: Google | Bing | Yahoo!
Link: Map of Peterson Park (East and West)

Peterson Park is a 200-acre park (approximately 31 acres of water) along the Skunk River Greenbelt. There are park entrances on both the east and west sides of the Skunk River. 

No alcohol of any kind or size can be possessed or consumed at West Peterson Park.

Activities and scenic areas include:
  • Swimming beach (West Peterson): no life guards, swim at your own risk. No pets are allowed on the beach or in the swimming area.
  • Fishing is available at East and West Peterson Park and along the Skunk River. The ponds contain a variety of fish including largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. There is a length limit of 15 inches for bass caught on Story County lakes. All other state fishing rules apply.
  • Picnicking and bird watching
  • Boating - a boat ramp is available on the west side. Only electric motors are allowed.
  • 3.7 miles of trails: open to off-road bicyclists, hikers, equestrians, and cross-country skiers.
  • Skunk River canoe access (West Peterson Park)
  • Hunting is permitted only with shotgun and bow. Please remember to get permission when hunting within 200 yards of any occupied building, even when hunting public land.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes from March 15 to July 15 to protect nesting birds. Hunting dogs must be kept under control in designated hunting area.