Van Meter

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Van Meter is situated west of Des Moines just south of Interstate 80 along the Raccoon River in Dallas County. This welcoming small town with a population of just under 1,500 is a peaceful oasis just removed from the pace of the metro and has worked hard to preserve the natural beauty that surrounds it. Nearby Badger Creek State Recreational Area is a popular outdoor space, including the lake which offers lots of opportunities for water sports, bird watching, and more. The Bob Feller Museum celebrates the baseball hall-of-famer who played in the 1920s and ‘30s and established a love of baseball that still resonates with his hometown today.


TVan Meter has access to the Raccoon River Valley Trail, an 89-mile loop trail used for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and more. Trindle Park, located on the south edge of town, is a wooded park with a lovely walking trail. The average one-way commute for Van Meter residents is 20.8 minutes, shorter than the 26.4 national average.

Activity & Entertainment

Van Meter The Van Meter community is a close-knit and engaged group that gets out to work, serve and play together. The Van Meter Recreation Complex is one example of this – it was constructed thanks to the hard work of volunteers! Veterans represent a higher-than-average percentage of the population and the American Legion Post here is an active part of the community. Van Meter is served by the Van Meter Community School District, a highly rated K-12 one-campus school system.


The town of Van Meter was laid out in 1869 and was named for Jacob Rhodes Van Meter and his family who were settlers from the Netherlands. Of course, no synopsis of Van Meter would be complete without a mention of the unidentified giant bat-like ‘Visitor’ that came to the town in 1903, and has been seen on occasion since then, and has generated the annual Van Meter Visitor Festival in celebration of cryptids and the people they fascinate.

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