Sandpiper Recreation Area is a day-use facility located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.
Visitors come to Saylorville Lake for its great boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers fish for walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike.
The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.
This day-use area contains one large group picnic shelter that can accommodate up to 500 people. Amenities include water and electricity, flush toilets, a playground, large beach, boat ramp and access to hiking and biking trails. A marina is nearby.
Sandpiper is situated in a broad, open area on the northeast side of the lake. Dense timber stands surround the recreation area, but shade is limited within the site.
Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl, and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.