the dyrt
Tent Sites
Fires Unknown
Pets Allowed
Water Unknown
About Cottonwood Recreation Area
Cottonwood Recreation Area is a day-use facility located in the tailwater area below Saylorville Dam. The 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting. Natural Features: Cottonwood covers a large open and flat lowland area bordering the east side of the Des Moines River. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake. Recreation: Visitors come to Saylorville Lake for its great boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers fish for walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating. Facilities: The day-use area offers nine group picnic areas with water and electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, a volleyball court, playground and hiking trails.
US Army Corps of Engineers
+ More
Electric Hookups
Pets Allowed
Water Hookups
Cottonwood Recreation Area is located in Saylorville Lake in Iowa
41.691 N
-93.675 W
Get Directions
From I-35, take Exit 90 in Ankeny and head approxmately 3.5 miles west to NW 84th Ave. Turn Left on 84th Ave and head south apprximately 1.5 miles to Cottonwood Recreation Area on the right.
2 Reviews of Cottonwood Recreation Area
There is no camping at Cottonwood, stay at Bob Shelter

I gave this one star only because there was no campground at Cottonwood Recreation Area. That does not mean you shouldn't checkout Cottonwood, you just need to camp at Bob Shelter or Cherry Glenn.

This recreation area is beautiful!!! It is huge with opportunities to bike or run on the Neal Smith trail, go fishing, kayaking or just have a picnic at one of the nine shelters.

I would rate this between a 3 or 4 for beauty and activities.

First to Review
The description says "Day Use"

It's a day use site. No camping.