Margo Frankel Woods State Park – Des Moines, Iowa

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Margo Frankel Woods State Park is a hidden gem with minimal internet presence, but I have been there myself and can promise it’s worth the trip! The first playground, right as you drive in, is fun, with a shaded shelter tucked back in the woods. The trail is a little hidden, tucked behind the red gate on the south side of the parking lot. Along that trail, you’ll see a long wooden staircase going up, and there is another playground and shelter up there.

dsmof disclaimer

Information:

Name: Margo Frankel Woods State Park
Address: 6245 nw 2nd st des moines, iowa 50313
Type: Places to hike and places to play
Bathrooms: Yes
Shade: Yes, shaded shelter and shaded trails
Playground: Yes
Trails: Yes, gravel/dirt
Water: Yes, creek
Other notes: The trail is located south of the parking lot, behind the gate. When you see a large staircase, it leads up to a second playground/shelter. If it isn’t muddy, these trails would be jogging stroller friendly. There is a sign that says “to reserve this shelter call 289-1089” for the “secret park” up above (though there is a driveway back there that I assume they open if you rent it).
History behind the namesake: http://www.matsonforiowa.com/things-we-love-thursday-margo-frankel-woods-state-park/
Official Website:   None? I cannot find one. It is called a state park but managed by Saylorville Township, which has no website.
DSMOF Blog posts:
Other things nearby of note:

Pictures:

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This is the main playground, that you’ll see as you enter.margo frankel woods state park des moines iowa saylorville (3)

The trail is to the left of this gate, which you can clearly see at the southern end of the parking lot.

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margo frankel state park trail (2)

This is the staircase that leads up to a second park, as shown on the map above, you can alternately walk past the gate and walk to the playground. All of the following pictures are of the “secret” playground.

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Have you been here? Leave a comment and let people know what you think!

This Post Has 6 Comments

    1. When I first dropped by, I couldn’t find a single thing about it online or on Facebook, I don’t know why it is a state park but not on the DNR website. It added to the allure! It’s a fun spot, we are big fans 🙂

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