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Best hammock spots in Des Moines

I know it may not seem like it yet, but spring is just around the corner! Many of Drake students love to bask in the sun and warm weather swaddled up in hammocks, but if the hammock cage views are getting a little too familiar, here’s a list of excellent hammocking places within 30 minutes of the Des Moines Metro:

Gray’s Lake Park | 2101 Fleur Dr

Gray’s Lake provides a nice little spot where urban meets outdoors. Enjoy a nice view of Gray’s Lake and the beautiful architecture from almost any spot in the park. This park is equipped with parking, restroom facilities, paved bike paths and an open space for you and your friends to have a picnic. 

Greenwood-Ashworth Park | 4500 Grand Ave 

Tucked between the Des Moines Art Center and the Raccoon River, Greenwood-Ashworth Park offers 80 acres of lovely places to tie up your strings and take a nice break from Drake Busy. This park is equipped with restroom facilities, picnic tables, benches,tennis courts, a pond, enclosed and open shelters and a paved bike path.

Easter Lake Park | 2830 Easter Lake Dr

One of Polk County’s hidden treasures, Easter Lake Park spans 468 acres with a multitude of trails, waterfront activities, and trees to hammock from! As a seasoned hammocker, I recommend this park for the more adventurous hangers. My personal favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon is walking one of the documented trails and finding trees near the middle of the hike to relax. This park is accompanied with a beach and swimming area (open in May to the public for free) restroom facilities, picnic areas, hiking trails and shelters. 

Fort Des Moines Park | 7200 SE 5th St. Des Moines, IA 50315

This one is for the history buffs! An old cavalry post now turned to a 153-acre county park, Fort Des Moines Park is breathtakingly simple. Its trails and paths are relatively easy, and there is a multitude of places for you and your hammock to enjoy being outside. Learn a little about Iowa history and relax in the sun. This park offers three different shelters, a playground (to satisfy your inner child), nature trails, and geocaching.

Grandview Park | 3230 Easton Blvd, Des Moines, IA 50317 

With a light forest, this little patch of heaven is perfect for an afternoon in the warm weather and sun. Plan to bring a swimsuit, because this park features a splash pad so you can cool off after hiking and hammocking all day. In addition to the splash pad, this park features restrooms, drinking fountains, off-street parking, sports courts, shelters, and a nature trail.

Mindfulness when hammocking:

It’s important to keep in mind your space and your effect on the earth as you hammock. Make sure to do your research on what damage your straps could do to the trees you’re hanging from. Inspect the area before you hammock, and if something seems off, find another area to hang. Remember to leave the area better than you found it, and to clean up after yourself before you leave. When you’re hammocking, make sure to check your equipment before jumping in, and only put your hammock at a comfortable height. Know where your closest emergency rooms are, and stay vigilant when outside and off-campus.

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