Seven Oaks Recreation Area is on 150 acres in the scenic Des Moines River Valley.  It's a year-round operation that offers canoeing, kayaking and river tubing, mountain biking trails, paintball, and camping during the warm weather months.  But, come winter, the Oaks is like an oasis for snow-starved Iowans in the Des Moines area.  They would have to drive well over 100 miles to find comparable skiing and riding. 

Seven Oaks first opened during the winter of 1997-98.  It had a previous life as Ski Valley, which had been closed for a few years prior to new ownership and a new name.  They offers three lifts - two triple chairlifts and a surface lift - for skiing and riding, 13 named runs and a 275-foot vertical drop, which is decent for this area of the Heartland.  Iowa is better known for a Field of Dreams than ski hills.  It also offers a tubing operation complete with its own lift.  The lodge has been remodeled and added onto since reopening. 

The area's annual season pass sale and ski swap will be held Sunday, Oct. 18.  Prior to Nov. 1 an Adult Pass is $226 and a Student Pass is $187.  After that date they will go up to $314 and $248, respectively.  A Family Pass for family of four is $539 through October and will go up to $737 the following month.  Additional family members beyond four can be added for $88 each through October. 

The Oaks has a sister ski areas program, which is a nice add-on for season pass holders.  Passholders receive a complimentary lift ticket - up to three times a season - at Powder Ridge and Buck Hill in Minnesota, and Deer Mountain and Great Bear in South Dakota.  Passholders get half-off lift tickets - again three times per season - at Wild Mountain and Andes Tower Hills in Minnesota, Snowstar in Illinois, Sundown in Iowa, and Devil's Head in Wisconsin.  That's an impressive lineup of Heartland sister resorts and ski areas to access.  Just take the Oaks season pass to the lift ticket window.

More information.  Or call 515-432-9457