Aerial view of the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny, Iowa.

Ankeny, Iowa

Ankeny is a small city and a suburb of Des Moines, situated in Polk County in the US State of Iowa. Despite its tiny size, this city has more than 40 parks and many hiking paths. It is among Iowa's cities with the fastest population growth. Family Circle named Ankeny as one of the top ten towns for families in 2008. Ankeny was also listed as the 62nd best location to live in 2009 by MONEY Magazine.

Geography And Climate Of Ankeny

Aerial view of the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny, Iowa.
Aerial view of the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny, Iowa. 

The small city of Ankeny is a suburb of Des Moines, the state's capital, and forms a part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa, MSA. Ankeny is located 125 miles east of Omaha, Nebraska, and about 8 miles north of Des Moines. Ankeny covers a total area of 75.96 sq. km, all of which is occupied by land. Only 75.5 sq. km of that area is incorporated, most of which is land with a few tiny parkland ponds and streams. 

Ankeny has a hot, humid summer climate that is classified as continental by the Köppen Climate Classification. It is partly cloudy all year round, with warm, humid, and rainy summers and chilly, snowy, and windy winters. The average yearly temperature ranges from 16°F to 86°F, and it is infrequently either below -3°F or over 95°F. The year's hottest month is July, with an average daily high temperature of more than 75°F. Having an average daily temperature of less than 43°F, January is the year's coldest month. Ankeny usually receives 36 inches of rainfall and 34 inches of snowfall yearly.

Brief History Of Ankeny

Ankeny City Hall
Ankeny City Hall. Image Credit: Ashton B Crew via Wikimedia Commons

On April 22, 1875, John Fletcher Ankeny and his wife Sarah established Ankeny as a farming settlement. Mr. Ankeny was a prominent businessman in Des Moines who was also interested in local politics. Additionally, he was a shareholder and promoter of the Minnesota Narrow Gauge Railroad, which ultimately passed through Ankeny. The town of Ankeny was incorporated on April 19, 1875, and the town's plat was submitted three days later. Seven homes made up the town of Ankeny in 1881. Ankeny became a town on February 28, 1903, with an incorporated area of one square mile. The US census revealed that 445 people lived there seven years after the town's incorporation.

The Population And Economy Of Ankeny

Ankeny has 67,887 residents, making it the seventh most populous city in Iowa. Ankeny's population is currently rising at 3.18% yearly. White (Non-Hispanic) (91%), White (Hispanic) (2.44%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (2.37%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (2.33%), and Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (1.43%) make up the top five ethnic groups in Ankeny. Ankeny has a 4.57% poverty rate and a $105,133 median household income. The median monthly rental cost in recent years has been $1,108, and the median value of a home is $239,300. In Ankeny, the median age is 32.4 years, with 32.3 years for men and 32.4 years for women.

Ankeny's intention to appeal to enterprises and industries is evident from a wealth of historical and contemporary evidence. Coal mining in the Ankeny region developed into a significant industry at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1908, the Anderson Coal Company dug a shaft three kilometers southeast of Ankeny. The Enterprise Coal Company had two sizable mines operating in 1903 and 1907, and its company town was located six kilometers east of Ankeny. The Enterprise Coal Company, one of the top 24 coal producers in the state, generated over 100,000 tons of coal in 1914. Currently, Ankeny is home to more than 1,000 successful local and national firms. These companies have successfully fostered a thriving economic environment through cooperation with the city and the Chamber.

Attractions In And Around Ankeny

Firetrucker Brewery

The Brewery is well known for producing high-quality, delectable, and nutritious beers. The Brewery is the ideal place to while away a day and may also be a romantic setting for couples. Additionally, the environment is consistently energizing, and the Brewery is always spotless and well-maintained. Additionally, you will have the chance to take a tour of the facility and observe the production processes. You can sample some of their interesting beer collections.

High Trestle Trail

Cycling and running enthusiasts will love Ankeny's High Trestle Trail, a magnificent hiking trail. An approximately 42 km long decommissioned portion of the Union Pacific Railroad that passes through nearby counties was used for this development. This is still a top tourist destination in the city, even if you're not particularly athletic.

Adventureland Park

A short distance from Ankeny is the biggest theme park in Iowa, which offers dozens of rides, performances, and other attractions. Since its debut in 1975, Adventureland has continuously added new themed zones and attractions. This includes a vast selection of traditional amusement park rides, including a carousel, Ferris wheel, bumper cars, swinging ships, and miniature trains. In addition, Adventureland includes the Adventure Bay water park, which features the biggest wave pool in Iowa, as well as tube slides, a six-lane racing slide, and splash pads.

Dean Park

This neighborhood park is a wonderful place to visit if you're traveling with kids. There is no reason why children wouldn't adore this park, given that it contains a playground, splash pads, a rubberized basketball half-court, and a pavilion. There are tables and a grill area, so adults can organize a picnic.

Cascade Falls Aquatic Center

In summer, this fantastic public water park remains open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day and serves as a perfect place to get away from the infamous Iowa humidity. A FlowRider surf machine that lets you ride waves more than nearly a thousand kilometers from the closest ocean is unusual at Cascade Falls. The center is constructed in three parts. There are many pools, slides, a lazy river, a surf machine, and other entertaining features.

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