Water Trails

Water recreation is picking up interest in Johnston, especially since we have access points that make it easier to reach the water.  

On August 20, 2019, the City of Johnston opened the first water trails access point on Beaver Creek. The carry-down access point is located on NW 70th Street, just east of NW 86th Street. This is the first of 86 sites planned for improvement throughout the metro.

The second access point, which is located at Lew Clarkson, is now complete. This access point allows those padding down the river to enter or exit from Lew Clarkson or Terra Park. The water is slowly trickling down Beaver Creek right now, but we look forward to the river filling up in the spring.

“We have found many are enjoying the water now that is easier to access and exit from Beaver Creek,” said John Schmitz, Parks & Recreation Director. “Our Park Board and City leaders have made the water trails a priority, and it is certainly paying off. While COVID-19 provided a challenge for many this summer, we saw more families enjoying the water and outdoor recreational opportunities. We certainly look forward to seeing even more in 2021.”

The third access point is anticipated to be complete in 2022 and located near the Merle Hay Bridge and I-80/35. Upon completion, residents and visitors will enjoy the water with multiple opportunities to enter or exit. We are excited about the opportunities water recreation could bring to our community.  


More information on the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways can be found here (PDF).

9. Beaver Creek Water Trails_Hazardous Conditions
Water Trails Inaugural Launch

Access Point at Lew Clarkson Park

Lew Clarkson

Access from Lew Clarkson Park

Lew Clarkson_1

Access to Beaver Creek from Terra Park

Terra park

Rendering of access point near Merle Hay Road and the Interstate at the Gateway

Gateway