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Near the capital of Iowa, Walnut Woods Campground in Walnut Woods State Park offers a central and convenient location for exploring this Midwest state. Whether you want to fully immerse yourself in one pocket of Iowa or you want to explore everything that the Hawkeye State has to offer, the RV campground at Walnut Woods will set you up with what you need. At Walnut Woods, you have your choice of electric or full-service sites for your RV rental. You also have access to restroom facilities near the RV sites.
The woodlands of Walnut Woods will make you feel as though you are secluded and far removed from civilization. However, the campsites at Walnut Woods Campground are actually just a few miles from the city of Des Moines. This proximity to the bustling city life means that you get to enjoy both worlds: the peacefulness of nature and the vibrancy of metropolitan living.
While enjoying some RV camping at Walnut Woods, make sure to spend some time exploring Walnut Woods State Park. Along the banks of the Raccoon River, there are opportunities for fishing and non-motorized boat excursions. If you feel like staying on dry land, you can explore the woodlands. Walnut Woods is home to the largest surviving natural grove of black walnut trees in all of North America. Unfortunately, harvesting walnuts isn't an option here. However, these walnuts attract migratory birds from across North America, so if you’re traveling in the spring or fall, chances are you will get to see a wide variety of birds – as many as 90 species have been seen.
Those looking to spend some time closer to the capital can head to Water Works Park in Des Moines, Iowa. It's one of the largest urban parks in the entire country. You actually might forget that the state capital is just on the other side of the tree line. This 1,500-acre park is cut in half by the Raccoon River, which then helps feed the Maffitt Reservoir. The reservoir is open to visitors for fishing if you want to try your luck. With Water Works' central location, the city built an amphitheater within the park. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time, because you just might get lucky and get to see a concert or performance.
A little farther away from your campsite at Walnut Woods Campground is Badger Creek State Park in Van Meter. Anglers from all over central Iowa flock to Badger Creek to fish the rivers, ponds, and lakes. Badger Creek is known for housing largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. If fishing isn’t your favorite pastime, you can head to the park in the spring and summer and enjoy the trails. The trails come to life with native wildflowers and really help give a sense of the beauty of Iowa.
History buffs are in for a treat when they book an RV in Polk County, Iowa. Just a short drive away from the Walnut Woods State Park is the Jordan House, built by abolitionist James C. Jordan. This home was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. You can visit and tour the house, see historic furnishings and artifacts, and learn all about the abolitionist movement.
Those looking for an active way to relax can set up a tee time at the public golf course in West Des Moines. With 27 holes open to all levels, golfers can enjoy brushing up on their skills or challenging themselves on harder courses. No matter how your game on the links goes, you can reward yourself at the end of the day with a trip to the snack bar.
Art lovers can spend the day at the Des Moines Art Center. Focusing on modern and contemporary art, the Des Moines Art Center houses permanent exhibits as well as temporary ones. You can enjoy paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media works of art as you stroll through the galleries. The center also hosts a variety of classes and events, so be sure to check their schedule to see if there’s anything that interests you.
Since you’ll be camping near the city of Des Moines, there are plenty of options around for gas stations and grocery stores. You’ll have no problem keeping your Walnut Woods RV rental vacation running smoothly.
After a long day or fishing, hiking, or even golf, you can reward yourself with a Maid-Rite sandwich. This local sandwich is comprised of ground beef with ketchup, mustard, onion, and pickles, all served on a soft, white bun. Legend has it, a local diner cook made this sandwich one night, and the customer said that it was “made right,” and the name stuck; give it a try for yourself while you're here.