RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Walnut Ridge Recreation Area

Walnut Ridge Recreation Area is a day-use facility located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which 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: The area is situated on a wooded ridgeland on the west side of Saylorville Lake. Large shade trees cover the area. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake. Recreation: The 18-hole Walnut Ridge Disc Golf Course runs throughout the recreation area. The beautifully manicured course contains both open and wooded fairways with blind pins and tunnel shots. Visitors come to Saylorville Lake for its great boating, sailing 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: This day-use area offers three group picnic shelters with water and electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, a playground, and hiking trails.

US Army Corps of Engineers
Drive In
Walk In
+ More
No Alchohol
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Walnut Ridge Recreation Area is located in Iowa
41.7297 N
-93.7211 W
Get Directions
From I-35/80 north of Des Moines, take Johnston/Saylorville Lake Exit (131). Go north on Merle Hay Rd for 2.7 miles, then turn left onto NW Beaver Drive for 3.1 miles. Recreation area is 0.3 miles ahead on the right.
2 Reviews of Walnut Ridge Recreation Area
Clean, Busy

This is a large campground & it's clean. It was really busy though. The shower/bath house was clean. There was a party near our tent that raged for quite some time. It's supposedly an alcohol-free campground (which bummed us out) but the tents near ours apparently didn't know or care.

First to Review
Acorn Valley is well maintained but closed after Labor Day

I tried to stay at Acorn Valley to find out it is closed after Labor Day. Bummer. I was able to get out and look around. It is clean and well maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is near the lake and a nice place to use as a home base for spending time at Saylorville Lake.