Saylorville Lake


Visitor Center Hours

Visitor Center Hours:

Mar 1 - Mar 31:  Mon – Fri  ***Closed***

                          Sat – Sun 12pm – 4pm

Apr 1 - May 28:  Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm

                         Sat – Sun 12pm – 4pm

May 29 - Sept 6:      Daily  10am – 6pm

Sept 7 - Oct 17: Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm

                          Sat – Sun 12am – 4pm

Oct 18 – Feb 28:         *****Closed*****

Saylorville Lake Visitor Center

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 during the heart of the recreation season from late April through the end of September.  Watch our Saylorville Lake Facebook page for scheduled events. 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.  For more information about a specific event please email us at


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    For more information contact Park Rangers at 515-276-4656.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 How do I schedule a date to bring my class/group to Saylorville Lake for an educational program?

Rangers and Volunteers give numerous educational programs to local school groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth groups, ect.  To schedule a program please fill out a Request for Program and email it to For additional information or questions call 515-276-4656.

 I see the Visitor Center is directly adajcent to the Neal Smith Trail, am I allowed to park at the Visitor Center?
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.
 I would like to bring my class/group to the Saylorville Lake Visitor Center, is there a self guided tour or set of activities I can do with my group upon arrival?

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.

 I would like to volunteer at the Saylorville Lake Visitor Center, how do I sign up?    
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 at or call our office at 515-276-4656.
 Is there a gift shop at the Visitor Center?

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.

 Will a Ranger or Volunteer come to my school or oganization to do an educational program?
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.