1 Mile Trail Route at Margo Frankel State Park

Time to share another trail route! Margo Frankel Woods State Park is a little mysterious, with very little internet presence. Conveniently located close to I-35, the trail can be hard to find from the parking lot but you quickly feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere once you’re on it! There is a main gravel trail and then lots of dirt “deer trails”; we have explored both but now I’m sharing a simple 1-mile trail route. It isn’t a loop, but I’ll give you the landmark to look for and turn around.

You can find more details like the address and link to the official website on the main Margo Frankel page below.

Margo Frankel Woods State Park – Des Moines, Iowa


margo frankel2 1 mile

I measured the distance from the parking lot, taking you walking from the lot, and then turning back around the same route.

margo frankel state park trail (1)

The main trail is a pretty flat gravel and definitely manageable with a jogging stroller.

margo frankel state park trail (5)

This ravine is usually dry when we have visited, but looks wild. The greenery is really lush and pretty back here, with loads of wildflowers in spring.

margo frankel state park trail (3)

You’ll walk straight from the trailhead, keeping straight and avoiding taking the turn to the right that leads to a wooden staircase (that goes up to a “hidden” playground, if you want to detour!). The landmark you’re looking for is this bridge! The trail becomes much more overgrown past here, but does continue. This makes a great stopping point to take a drink, toss some twigs and watch them float to the other side, and then head back.

margo frankel state park trail (4)

The water is pretty low and grimy so I don’t have it listed as a place to creek stomp because of that, but you can still spot little minnows and lots of animal tracks! Other things to spot along this trail would be acorns, rocks, dragonflies, butterflies, and different shaped leaves. This is a great little trail to hike with kids, and you can hit up the playground on your way back to the car!

2 thoughts on “1 Mile Trail Route at Margo Frankel State Park

  1. Jen says:

    We LOVE this park! Hid a kid friendly geocache here. šŸ™‚ The creek is normally awesome when we aren’t having a dry spell. Go back and check it out again another day.

    1. swoodsonsays says:

      I’m slowly making a list of kid friendly geocaches to publish eventually, I’ll go add it šŸ™‚


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