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blue West Lake Trail

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Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer point to point
97% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 321' 98 m
Descent: -193' -59 m
High: 1,213' 370 m
Low: 999' 305 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

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Current trail conditions

Minor Issues 57 days ago See History

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The longer and more challenging of the two trails running along Backbone Lake.

Kenny Slocum

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Watch for ticks where this route becomes less clear.

Description

The trailhead for this trail is a little difficult to find. On the other side of the Backbone Lake Dam, you'll find an information station/ranger residence. Right behind these buildings lies the West Lake Trail trailhead.

You can park either just after you cross the dam and follow the shore of the lake to the trailhead, or park at the info area and head towards the lake to find the trail.

The route travels immediately into the woods, where it rolls quite a bit for the first mile or so. After that it begins to level out, heading through some lowland forest with soft but extremely pleasant tread following ancient floodplains.

In the last third, the trail becomes a bit more rugged before arriving at the park road near the climbing area. The last part of the trail becomes a bit overgrown, but generally follows the meander of the stream.

Flora & Fauna

Sections of this trail are frequented by muskrats, who build nests out of large reeds in swampy areas. These nests are then used by a host of other aquatic birds, relatively common along the marshier sections of this trail.

Contacts

Land Manager: Iowa DNR

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  3.0 from 2 votes

#18110

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  3.0 from 2 votes
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Rankings

#71

in Iowa

#18,110

Overall
5 Views Last Month
76 Since May 16, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

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