Zo-El Annett Woods: A Kid-Friendly Outdoor Experience

Des Moines, Iowa, Central Iowa, Zo-El Annett Woods

I love getting out in the outdoors with my kids. The problem is, my kiddos don’t always want to go on a 5-10 mile hike like me. So one of my favorite hiking trails to take them on is the one at Zo-El Annett Woods. Zo-El is a short drive south of Des Moines (around 30 minutes, depending on where you are coming from) down highway 28 thru the town of Norwalk. The wooded trail here is a smaller loop that any age level can handle. You get some natural elevation changes along with some stairs to climb and a wonderful suspension bridge to cross over. Plan to spend some time on the bridge to let your kiddos jump and play around!

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Strasser Woods State Preserve

strasser woods state preserve

Strasser Woods State Preserve is a 40 acre chunk of heavily wooded land with dirt paths, making it a nice place to take a hike if you’re over by the Iowa State Fairgrounds. There is no published trail map; the trail we explored to the right had relatively steep wooden steps for quite a while.

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Margo Frankel Woods State Park – Des Moines, Iowa

margo frankel woods state park des moines iowa saylorville (1)

Margo Frankel Woods State Park is a hidden gem with minimal internet presence, but I have been there myself and can promise it’s worth the trip! The first playground, right as you drive in, is fun, with a shaded shelter tucked back in the woods. The trail is a little hidden, tucked behind the red gate on the south side of the parking lot. Along that trail, you’ll see a long wooden staircase going up, and there is another playground and shelter up there.

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