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Backbone Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (2)

The highlight trail of the park. This trail navigates the top of a very high ridge with commanding views of the valley.


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Map Key

0.8

Miles

1.4

KM

94%

Runnable

1,129' 344 m

High

1,063' 324 m

Low

112' 34 m

Up

78' 24 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Historical Significance · River/Creek · Spring · Views

Description

Easily accessible from the park's main road, this trail remains pretty flat for the entire duration. However, the entire trail is very rocky so the terrain is not easy to navigate. The trail begins on the Backbone, the signature landmark at Backbone State Park. There is an 80-foot drop on both sides of the trail here, offering the best views in the park of the surrounding Maquoketa River valley. After crossing the Backbone, there is an optional loop along the canyon rim before returning to the trailhead by retracing your steps over the Backbone.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Kontos

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#7398

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#17

in Iowa

#7,398

Overall
16 Views Last Month
98 Since Nov 1, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Balance Rock - not on trail but in the park.
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA
Looking across the river at the opposing bluffs.
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA
Wildlife spotted when driving through the park.
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA
Bluffs along the trail.
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA
There are lots of places where the trail splits off, usually just for a view. This time I ended up climbing up thru a crevice. This is looking back down half way through.
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA
Bluffs along trail
Oct 6, 2020 near Strawbe…, IA

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