The Parks of the Gay Lea Wilson Trail
Featured on the Iowa By Trail app, Gay Lea Wilson Trail extends for 35 miles in Polk County, through Des Moines, Altoona, Pleasant Hill and Ankeny. Along the way, six parks–we feature five here–offer riders a chance to take a break and enjoy Iowa’s natural beauty.
Prairie Heritage Park
A small creek runs in Prairie Heritage Park runs through a residential neighborhood, surrounded by a winding concrete pathway on either side. Benches then line the walk with small wooden awning overhead.
The creek flows out of the small pond–a wetland preserve–in the park. Geese strut on the walk and coast on the water, while mallards sleep on the nearby grass. A cat lurks by what looks like a giant drainage tunnel, which actually connects the pathways and has excellent acoustics.
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