Park Visit: Cummins Woods Bird Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa

When I was compiling all the locations and data for this site, I became especially interested in places I’d never read or heard about. In a few instances, locations turned out to be “hidden gems” (like Southwoods Park) but in other cases, like Cummins Woods, I hadn’t heard of them because they don’t have a lot to offer.

You can see more specific details on the Cummins Woods page below or check out its location on the interactive map.

Cummins Woods – Des Moines, Iowa


There are signs coming from both directions, for the park, which I thought boded well.


But then I pulled up to a dead end, no designated parking, and saw this. Granted, it probably looks lush and inviting when there are green leaves on the trees but this week it was pretty desolate! You can’t tell from the picture, but the land pitches down into a ravine.


You can read the plaque for a little more information! I don’t mean to sound bitter – I am glad that there is wild, open space for animals and birds, and humans don’t need to have trails to traipse all over everywhere. However, next time you see the sign as you drive by, you won’t have to wonder what’s there! I’d love to hear if folks visit to go birding, it looked completely untouched at my quick glance.


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