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Saylorville Lake

Visitor Center Hours

Visitor Center Hours:

Apr 1-May 3, M-F 10am-4pm

& Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm

May 4 - Sep 29, Daily 10am - 6pm

Saylorville Lake Visitor Center

Newly remodeled in 2010 the Saylorville Lake Visitor Center offers a wide variety of environmental education opportunities.  New interactive displays and a theater room offering multiple educational videos with the ability to seat 30 guests makes the Saylorville Lake Visitor Center unique to this area.  

Saylorville Lake Visitor Center - 515-964-0672

Scheduled Events

Saylorville Lake Park Rangers and Volunteers offer a wide variety of free educational events availble to the public.  These programs are scheduled in advance during the heart of the recreation season from late April through the end of September.  See the Schedule of Events Calendar and plan a night to come out and take a "Night Hike" with a Park Ranger to learn about the creatures of the night or bring your bicycle along to "Ride with a Ranger" on the Neal Smith Trail.  All events available to the public are listed under the Saylorville Lake Schedule of Events.  For more information about a specific event please email us at SaylorvilleLake@usace.army.mil.


Teachers, Boy Scout Leaders, Girl Scout Leaders, 4-H Leaders, FFA Advisors, etc.  Educational programs are available and presented by Park Rangers and Volunteers. Most programs are 30-45 minutes in length and are given on project. Water safety programs may be scheduled at your site.  Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance and have between 5 to 25 participants (larger groups can be split into sections).  To schedule an educational program fill out the Request for Program form and email the form to SaylorvilleLake@usace.army.mil.    For more information contact Park Rangers at 515-276-4656, ext. 6518

Frequently Asked Questions

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Rangers and Volunteers give numorous educational programs to local school groups, boyscouts, girlscouts, youth groups, ect.  To schedule a program please fill out a Request for Program and email it to SaylorvilleLake@usace.army.mil. For additional information or questions call 515-276-4656 x6518.
There is ample parking at the Visitor Center for trail users.  It is also very common for trail users to make a stop into the Visitor Center to use the restroom or grab a drink of water.

Within the Visitor Center is a movie theater which allows your to watch up to 4 different movies relating to the history of Saylorville Lake, Water Safety, and land mangement/caring for the environment.  The theater room has seating for 30.  Stop in the Visitor Center and see the new educational displays on fish identification, different environmental commnuties and a 3D laser map showing locations of recreation areas located at Saylorville Lake.  Be sure to bring a penny when you visit as we have added a Penny Press machine with Saylorville Lake specific designs.  If you need assistance while at the Visitor Center it is always staffed with a volunteer who is willing to help.

If the weather is nice and you would like to get outdoors feel free to take the Neal Smith Trail  a short distance to the Butterfly Garden. With over 20 different flower beds, enjoy the beautiful flowers as well as the different species of butterflies in the garden.  There are interpretive signs at the garden to learn about the plants and butterflys in the garden!

As you walk back  take a hike on our trail through the timber adjacent to the Visitor Center and identify tree species, plant species, do some bird watching or just hike the trail for some excersize.

There are many volunteering opportunities available at Saylorville Lake.  Full time volunteers who work a minimum of 21 hours a week receive a full hook-up site.  For more information on volunteering please email us @SaylorvilleLake@usace.army.mil or call our office at 515-276-4656.
There is a gift shop at the Visitor Center with everything from puzzles to t-shirts to stuffed animals...of course everything relates to nature.  Currently there are no food or drinks items sold at the gift shop. The gift shop is ran through a partnership with the Iowa Academy of Science. Cash or check is accepted, sorry no credit cards.
Rangers or Volunteers will only come to a school or an off site location to give a Water Safety program.  All other programs will require the interested group to travel to Saylorville Lake.