Trail Run Project Logo

blue Fire Tower Road

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

1.3 mile 2.1 kilometer point to point
84% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 122' 37 m
Descent: -432' -132 m
High: 1,118' 341 m
Low: 686' 209 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Weather

Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Unknown See History

Popular runs nearby

Run this trail?

Add details to help others plan their adventure.

A steep, winding class B road with a spur to one of the best overlooks in Yellow River State Forest.

Kenny Slocum

Features -none-

Runner Notes

Water is available via a spigot just west of the headquarters.

Description

Fire Tower Road connects the north and south ends of the state forest. Technically, the road (not the overlook) is open to vehicles, but don't expect to huff much exhaust on this route. The road is steep, narrow, and quite rocky which dissuades all but the most daring of motorists—a rare breed in Northeast Iowa.

Starting at the south end, from the junction with Brown's Hollow Trail, Fire Tower Road climbs steadily until the ridgetop where it meets the Fire Tower Trail, branching off to the right.

Just past this junction, a sign points users toward the Cedar Ridge Overlook which is without a doubt one of if not the finest views in the considerably vast (for Iowa anyway) state forest.

After a short side trip on the out-and-back trail to Cedar Ridge Overlook, the trail then descends quite steeply to the valley floor. Running along this narrow road, one feels entombed by the dense canopy overhead, a feeling enhanced further by rock outcroppings that contribute to a canyon-like experience.

As long as no cars come through, signs of civilization aside from the gravel underfoot are sparse until the very end. The road connects on the north end with State Forest Road, just east of park headquarters and the sawmill.

From the headquarters, the Forester's Trail and White Pine Trail are just a hop skip and a jump away, enabling users to make a great loop back to the south side of the park.

Alternatively, runners can cross the highway and connect with the Paint Creek Trail, from which one can access the Bluff Trail the Larkin Valley Trail for even longer runs.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#11057

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#37

in Iowa

#11,057

Overall
10 Views Last Month
79 Since Dec 4, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running