Arie Den Boer Arboretum at Water Works Park

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I heard that the crabapples were blooming at Waterworks Park, so we set out to check them out! I went to Drake University and while nearby Gray’s Lake was a popular destination, the only time I’ve spent in Waterworks Park was for the Jolly Holiday Lights display at Christmas time. We scouted the popular hanging swing to play for a bit and then drove back up to the front so we could check out the colorful trees. I didn’t see any specific hiking trails, but there were paved paths and shared paved roads alongside lots of open green space for exploring.

You can see more specific details on the Water Works page or check out its location on the interactive map.

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This swing is popular for family photos and senior sessions, and it is not surprising with such a pretty background. I wonder who put it up! If you want directions to get there, keep reading.

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Driving from 235, you’ll take MLK to Fleur and turn right at the stoplight on to George Flagg Parkway. Drive straight until you see a small opening on the right side of the road into the park (see above).

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You’ll follow the river until you reach this spot, with the bridge on your right. Get out and walk down the path, you’ll see the swing off to your right a few seconds walk away!

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Doesn’t that look like a slice of peace and quiet? My daughter loved it!

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The bridge you cross over to get to the swing is neat too! waterworks park des moines iowa (4) waterworks park des moines iowa (3)

Back up towards the front, there is a separate parking area and these two spots were far enough apart that I drove. You can see several of the beautiful shades; it was gorgeous against the lush green.

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There was a pretty little ampitheater area with a fountain, I bet it’s pretty in warmer months!waterworks park des moines iowa (8) waterworks park des moines iowa (7)

We had actually parked at Gray’s Lake across Fleur, it was so fun to see the bald eagle’s nest by the parking lot! I need to go back and explore the area more, I know they have more to do in summer, too. Be sure to head out soon if you want to see the crabapples!

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