|Ten miles to the north of Des Moines, Iowa, is <A href="http://www.saylorvillelake.org">Saylorville Lake</A>, a 26,000 acre (land and water) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake project. Construction of the flood control project began in 1965 and when completed in 1977, provided cities and towns downstream of the dam protection from the Des Moines River during periods of high water. <p>Recreational opportunities abound on and around the 5,500 acre lake. There are over 500 campsites available to visitors in four Class A campgrounds, two swimming beaches, a variety of picnicking opportunities, shelters (available for reservations), boating, fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, visitor center and hiking. <p>The <A href="http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/Saylorville/Trails.cfm">Neal Smith Trail</A>, is a 26-mile paved multi-use trail extends from Des Moines north along the Des Moines River, along Saylorville Lake and through recreation areas, prairies, oak savannahs and ends in Big Creek State Park. The trail has several access points and is ideal for biking, walking, jogging and in-line skating.
<p>Wildlife abound year around on Saylorville Lake. Deer and turkey are just a couple of animals that make the lake and surrounding land their home. A diversity of bird species make their home here as well and is a haven for bird enthusiasts. During September, come out to the annual pelican festival and see thousands of pelicans and they use Saylorville Lake as a resting spot during their annual migration. The winter months bring America*s symbol, the Bald Eagle, to Saylorville Lake where they use the area to nest and feed. <p>Take a look at our <A href="http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/Saylorville/EduCalendar.cfm">calendar of events</A>, and come out for a visit and experience Saylorville Lake*an outdoor adventure in an urban landscape.
|Directions:||Located in central Iowa, 10 miles north of Des Moines, <A href="http://cfinternetdev.mvr.usace.army.mil/Saylorville/VicinityMap.cfm">Saylorville Lake</A> can be reached via two major interstates,
<p>From I-35, take exit 90 and head west on Hwy. 160/Oralabor Road. Hwy. 160/Oralabor Road turns into Hwy. 415. Follow Hwy. 415 until you see the visitor center signs. Total distance from interstate about 8 miles.
<p>From I-80, take the Merle Hay Road exit and turn north onto Merle Hay Road. Follow the Saylorville Lake signs. Total distance from interstate about 4 miles.
US Army Corps of Engineers
5600 NW 78TH AVE