Recreational parks in Ames offer activities for all

Joy Wessels

If you’re staying in Ames this summer to work or take classes, don’t let that keep you from enjoying the many parks and outdoor activities this town has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a good court to play sand volleyball on, bike trails to venture out on, or water to cool down in, Ames has something for you.

Brookside Park, located just off of 6th Street offers a variety of different activities to partake in. The park has many kinds of courts, including basketball, volleyball and tennis. There are also walking paths and grills to use if you feel like heading out there with some friends.

Ada Hayden is a gem because it offers activities for people with a wide range of interests. If running is your sport, Ada Hayden offers a great 3.2-mile paved path that forms a figure eight by the lake. If you enjoy fishing or being on the water, there are opportunities for that at Ada Hayden as well. With an accessible boat launch, the park is also perfect for those interested in using kayaks or canoes. 

Emma McCarthy Lee Park is another park that offers a lot of courts for sand volleyball, basketball and tennis. Located on Ross Road, the park offers grills and picnic tables that allow big groups to come and grill out. Shelters are available for rental only.

Bandshell Park in Ames offers a place for  people in Ames to meet and listen to music while enjoying the scenery. Every Friday night, Ames on the Half Shell sets up bands to play from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Their music can be enjoyed by any who pay a $3 entry fee. People can experience different bands each week while enjoying local vendors. Bandshell Park is located on 6th Street and Duff Avenue.

Like Brookside and Emma McCarthy Lee, Inis Grove has basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. It also offers both an expansive, open green space as well as a nature area good for some easy hiking. Located on Duff Avenue and Northwood Drive, it also offers grills and picnic tables for parkgoers to use.

While these are some of Ames’ bigger parks, there are also smaller ones located all over town. If you want to get outside for a beautiful day of bike riding, a pick-up game of sand volleyball with friends, or a night out to grill, Ames has many parks to explore.