Backbone State Park is the oldest in the state of Iowa and can be found in the valley of the Maquoketa River. Heavily forested and with a variety of rocky outcrops, there's a wealth of natural beauty on offer for adventurous families visiting Backbone State Park, plus a number of exciting activities that take advantage of the park's natural terrain.
Best Hiking Trails in Backbone State Park
Hiking is a great way to explore the beauty of Backbone State Park, and you will find hiking trails suitable for the whole family. From the meandering river banks through the forests and to the oxbow lake, Backbone State Park cabins will give you the chance to hike each path at your own pace.
1. Backbone Trail
This 1.6-mile trail is rated easy on the difficulty scale, and follows a narrow ridge that offers excellent views of the river and the valley below.
2. West Lake and East Lake Trail Loop
This moderate trail is best used from April until October and provides access to the lake and takes you to the top of the Devil's Backbone. A number of activities such as climbing and bouldering are available along the route, as well as picnicking spots.
3. Six Pines Trail
This short trail takes you through the forest and is ideal if you have children with you who cannot manage longer hikes. Along the trail you will see plenty of local flora and fauna.
Best Family Activities in Backbone State Park
From family picnics and days on the trails to adrenaline fueled climbing and bouldering, visiting Backbone State Park provides a wealth of exciting activities for people of any age. In fact, the 2,000 acres of pristine state park is ideal for everyone, and you are sure to find something that appeals to you when you stay in Backbone State Park hotels.
Rock climbing and bouldering are both very popular in Backbone State Park thanks to the dolomite limestone formations found throughout. If scaling cliffs is your thing, then you must first register at the park office before attempting a climb.
2. Boating and Swimming
Backbone Lake is situated on the Maquoketa River, making boating and swimming popular family activities. Boats can be rented for the day, and you can also enjoy a little fishing on the water.
3. Trout Fishing
Famous for its trout fishing, Backbone State Park cabins will give you excellent access to the best spots. Just make sure you get up early in the morning to claim your place on the banks of this quick-flowing river.
Visit Other Popular State Parks
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