Things to Do

Come explore more than 3,000 acres of parks and natural areas in central Iowa. Enjoy a variety of outdoor experiences and recreational opportunities at our lakes and rivers, parks, trails, prairies, marshes, and woodlands. Fishing, camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, boating, bicycling, and hunting are all popular activities you can find near Ames, Iowa.

View this matrix (PDF) for a convenient snapshot of what each area has to offer. Click on each park or area for maps and more information.

Click on the links below for information on some of our most popular recreational activities.


Public Fishing Areas

Public Hunting Areas


Annual Photo Contest