This is a super cool playground in Des Moines, built to be all inclusive and available for everyone to play on. There is a dirt nature trail for hiking that is perfect for young kids, too. The playground has all rubber footing, great for muddy days. Built in memory of a local realtor, you can see more about her story here.
Name: Ashley Okland Star Playground
Address: 5300 Indianola Ave, Des Moines, IA 50320
Type: Places to play and places to hike
Shade: Yes, shaded shelter and shaded trails
Trails: Yes, dirt trail
Water: Yes, stream
Other notes: A part of the larger Ewing park, this has ramps for wheelchair access and a wheelchair friendly swinging deck, in addition to adaptive swings and baby swings. There is a great hiking trail for young kids – not stroller friendly, lots of little bridges, muddy after rain. Nature trail map here (purple loop is closest to the playground).
Official Website: http://www.dmgov.org/Departments/Parks/PDF/OklandPlayground.smaller.pdf
DSMOF Blog posts:
[photo courtesy of Des Moines Parks and Recreation]
As of our last visit, there was no signage for the nature trail, but it’s a great little path! All dirt, with several bridges, so definitely not stroller friendly. One end is back through those trees, where the arrow is pointing. Once you wander that way, it becomes clear pretty quickly.
There are lots of bridges, steps, and little turns; this trail is definitely not stroller friendly.
You’ll eventually come to this random road, it’s used for soap box derby cars, if you cross over it you will see several other paths as a part of a mountain biking trail network (map shown here). If you’re in a hurry or worried about getting lost, you can just walk along the side of the soap box derby track up to the red bridge but I’ve never had any trouble winding around the paths.
You eventually (it’s not very long, under .5 a mile) cross a “road” that is actually for soap box derby cars, and you can follow that back up to this bridge or cross and follow one of the many longer paths. We have never explored too terribly far because my kids are always eager to get back to the playground! You can find a map on the DSM website here.
Here is the other end, in relation to the playground!
Have you been here? Leave a comment and let people know what you think!