Backbone State Park has so much to see and do its almost unbelievable. The hiking is some of the best in the Midwest, There are exceptional trout streams for fly fishing, numerous rock climbing locations. If that wasn’t enough there is a beach and  a beautiful lake. If you wish to stay the weekend,  they have cabins for rent as well as a campground. Backbone State Park is located at 1347 129th St in Dundee, Iowa. For more information, click here.

Midwest Hiking

Backbone is considered by many to be Iowa’s oldest state park. (although it is disputed) the park was dedicated all the way back in 1920. This is one of the most geographically unique locations in Iowa. The steep and narrow ridge of bedrock from the Maquoketa River forms the highest point in northeast Iowa – The Devil’s Backbone – giving the park its legendary name.

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The hiking is some of the best in the region. You can hike through the 21-mile trail system and venture along twisted and windblown cedars up rough, rocky staircases. Backbone trail at Backbone state park is the most popular and one of the easier trails at the park. This trail takes you through rocky and forest areas and has great overlooks. In the winter, explore the park’s snowmobile and cross-country ski trails. Avid mountain bikers can trek through the picturesque trails of Barred Owl, Bluebird, East Lake and West Lake.

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Climbing enthusiasts love the park for its rugged dolomite limestone cliffs, offering many challenges for climbers and rapellers throughout the park. Check out Backbone Trail for some of the most popular climbing spots. Please register at the park office before climbing. Rock climbing opportunities like this are few and far between in the Midwest, and even if they were abundant Backbone’s climbing trail would still be considered unique.

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Fishing for trout in Backbone’s clear, quick flowing stream fed by Richmond Springs. Backbone is known for its exceptional trout fishing, and anglers looking for their “secret spot” can enjoy a variety of shady and universally accessible trails along the stream. The sidewalk and concrete parking lot along the trout stream are ADA accessible.

picture is owned by Eric Hanson KCCI

Stay overnight in one of Backbone’s popular 4-season cabins, or camp in one of Backbone’s campgrounds. Non-electric and electric sites are located in the South Lake Campground along with two shower buildings, a playground and a dump station. Both shower buildings and the campsite in the South Lake Campground are ADA accessible. Near the west entrance lies The Six Pine Campground, featuring non-electric sites and pit latrines. Campsites and year-round cabins can be reserved through the online reservation system for Backbone State Park.

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Boat on Backbone Lake and enjoy refreshments from the beach concession stand. Visitors can rent boats at the boathouse and a boat ramp can be accessed near the southwest end of the lake. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake. Kayaks, canoes and paddle boats can be rented from the park’s concessionaire.

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Cyclists are also know to frequent the park, as the Northeast State Park Bike Route is a 130 mile route which connects Backbone State Park, Wapsipinicon State Park, and Pikes Peak State Park utilizing county highways.

This picture is owned by Moser’s Moments

Whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or just wanting to get outdoors for the day, Backbone State Park has something for everyone. Pictures used in this article are owned by our friends at Midwest Hiking. Check them out on Facebook for more great hiking locations around the Midwest. For more great hiking locations in and around Iowa, click here.

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