Iowans will have a winter park to snowboard, sled, and tube in this frosty season.

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The Des Moines Register reports that according to a news release Polk County will purchase Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines. If you're looking for a spot to have some winter fun, this is it. The 76-acre facility located at 4051 Dean Ave. has been a favorite for tubing and sledding in the winter. In the fall, the Renaissance Faire Park in Sleepy Hollow turns into a Halloween attraction with a haunted forest surrounding the area. Summertime is all about "festivals, comedy shows and concerts." With the new ownership, will be some big new changes.

What changes are coming to Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in 2022?

The news release states that thanks to a $3 million dollar fundraising campaign, big improvements to the park are on the way. Here are some changes we can expect, according to the release:

  • Full service 60 site campground: current electric campground facilities (including State Fair camping) will be expanded, the addition of tent camping amenities including a "new shower house/restroom building, dump station, and registration booth."
  • Minor interior and exterior improvements to the Ski Lodge.
  • Winter snowboarding and tubing will continue while new cross-country ski and snowshoe trails (and possibly downhill ski trails) will be added.
  • Improved access to the existing pond and enhanced fisheries for public fishing. In the winter the pond will be turned into an ice skating rink!
  • Future park connection to the Gay Lea Wilson Trail. This will provide a safe route to downtown Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, and Altoona.
  • Expansion of hiking trails throughout the park.
  • Central Iowa Water Trails kayak access and staging area. Extensive streambank restoration will occur on Fourmile Creek to prevent erosion and enhance water quality.

Owners Rick and Mary Flatt, who opened the park in 1994, will continue to run park operations through the end of 2022 despite the buy. Beginning in 2023, Polk County Conservation will take over the operations for the winter sports facility, while the Flatts will run camping operations and special events. By the time 2024 rolls around, Polk County will run all operations.

If you're looking to do some snowboarding this winter, and still stay close to home, this place will be perfect.

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