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East Lake Trail

Intermediate
 3.8 (4)

A beautiful, moderately challenging trail along Backbone Lake.


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.6

KM

100%

Runnable

1,142' 348 m

High

1,003' 306 m

Low

186' 57 m

Up

48' 15 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

5%

Max Grade (3°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Wildflowers

Description

The trailhead can be found just north of the "castle," an obvious structure on the east beach of Backbone Lake.

From the trailhead, the trail goes immediately into mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods, rolling gently through some truly beautiful woods. The trail goes past several significant cliff faces, with rock appropriate for climbing. Tell a ranger if you plan on roping up.

The terrain is relatively easy until the end, when it climbs quite steeply and quickly for about 100' to meet the park road. The summit of the climb is actually part of the "backbone," and this west/north trailhead is within a few hundred feet of the backbone trail itself.

A short jaunt on the road will bring visitors to the Six Pine Trail, which they can then connect to the West Lake Trail to make a really great loop around the entire lake.

Flora & Fauna

Blue-tailed skinks occasionally emerge to sun themselves on the rocky cliffs along this trail. The water attracts a lot of birds, from fishing bald eagles to wading great blue herons and squabbling mallards.

Contacts

Land Manager: Iowa DNR

Shared By:

Kenny Slocum

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#19331

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
75%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#68

in Iowa

#19,331

Overall
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334 Since May 16, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Leaf peeping with my pup at Backbone State Park
Nov 6, 2019 near Strawbe…, IA
East Lake Trail.
May 26, 2016 near Strawbe…, IA

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