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Indianola - Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park

16510 118th Avenue

Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park, Iowa’s newest state park, is nestled in the rolling landscape between Des Moines and Indianola on Highway 65/69, within minutes of the state’s largest metro area.

Many locals remember the area as Banner Pits, when the area was mined for coal by the Banner Coal Company in the early 1930s. According to an article dated September 15, 1932 in the Des Moines Tribune, “...the coal mining operation was the largest strip mining operation to take place in Iowa. The coal--an unusually good grade of Iowa product--could not be mined in the ordinary way because of the poor 'roof' and the proximity of the four-foot vein to the surface. It was covered by about 40 feet of earth and shale. The concerned decided to mine the coal by the open pit process and has been operating one of the largest electric drag lines in the country there since last Janaury.” The article went on to say that in order to get the coal, it was necessary to dig a “young Panama canal” 115 feet wide at the top and 80 feet wide at the bottom. The huge drag line equipment used in the operation drew hundreds of spectators to the mine.

In 1954, the Department of Natural Resources purchased the 222-acre setting as a wildlife management area. As the years went by, recreation demands changed. Through the vision of the DNR and with encouragement from a host of supporters, a plan was developed in 2002 to transform “Banner Pits” into a state park with new and enhanced recreation opportunities. The park was officially dedicated October 7, 2004 with more than 250 people in attendance. Only the second state park established in the last 27 years, Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park is a great addition to Iowa’s state park system.


glen hanson

Friday, March 30, 2018
Very quiet place. The scenery is very beautiful here. Perfect for a relaxing day of fishing. Plenty of trails to either walk or ride your bike on.

Sarah Davidson

Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017
Gorgeous park with a lovely loop to view the water. Nice hiking trails and paved bike path. Plenty of places to fish or just relax and enjoy lots of wildlife. ONLY downside is having to listen to that damn firing range.

Brian Fowler

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
One of the most difficult mountain bike trails around, but still some easier. Good for walking and jogging too. Can connect to paved trail. Walk around the lake, picnic, fish.

Anthony Haugen

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Nice walking trails good place to read a book good fishing

Michael Reuter

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017
Summerset is a nice little state park. It can’t compete with many others around Iowa but it offers several hiking paths, a connection to the Summerset trail, and good fishing opportunities. Banner Lakes are a result of abandoned mines which is a cool piece of history.

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