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West Lake Trail is one of my favorites in this part of Iowa. Very scenic hike along the low bluff under a canopy of maples and oaks.

hiking
22 days ago

This is an easy, somewhat short trail that is well marked and features a wide path (about 6 feet across) and a few short, rocky ledges to stair step up (no scrambles where you would have to use your hands to climb). However, please know that at some points there is a sheer drop of over 100 ft on either side of the path. There have been more than a few cases of people getting too close to the edge for whatever reason and falling to their death. Too many times it was a child who died because they stray too far from mom or dad and just don't realize the risks they take. Don't get me wrong. The trail is very safe and easy to hike. But if you take kids with then make sure they exercise some caution just the same. The trail is short but takes longer to hike than you might think due to the frequent overlooks and interesting rock features along the way.

hiking
25 days ago

Many caves to visit , quick tip bring flashlights and head gear if you plan on adventuring inside the caves:)

Unless you plan to hold their hands the whole time, do not take littles on this trail. There are cliffs on either side of the bottleneck. That being said, the same cliffs offer stunning views of the Maquoketa River on either side. It is a nice, easy, short hike if you are in the area.

It’s open for 2018!!! New trails, steps, lights, bridges and boardwalks. Soooooo nice! Breathe in nature and bring a friend. Very family friendly!

Great hike. Gorgeous and nice elevation challenge. I threw in the exercise stations to up the difficulty . Nice touch

Heard gunshots in the distance even though it’s a conservation area. Be careful.. Nice and short- some abrupt steep hills.

It was fun my dad and I had a great time

Lots of frequent elevation change (600 ft is a net change), very poorly marked trail with markers only at trailhead or when it crossed a campground. There were no trail markers or distance markers, lots of lose rock and frequent forks to lose you way and your footing. On the plus side, some fantastic views and scenery along the way, just watch the transition from West Lake trail to East Lake trail. You have to find it yourself.

One of the best views in Iowa!

Easy, simple hike.

The path is very poorly marked. But when you figure out where you’re going, it’s a great trail. Nice to be near the water, there were several look out areas with seating. The paths varied in width and incline, which was a nice mix. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

Pretty but got to watch out for the roots, rocks, and steep climb on the trails.

Beautiful trail. Would have been 5 stars if it was marked better with signs, etc.

It is probably beautiful, but it is apparently closed for construction.

on Backbone Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail with lots of spots to breakaway from the trail to explore further

Awesome app! Would not be able to find best trailheads without it. It really got our family out into nature

been here several times, always beautiful views and opportunities to see wildlife.

Bring your water and bug spray! Quick, scenic and enjoyable short hike.

Very pretty, make sure you get down and dirty into the caves and find all the small nooks and crannies. Might be hard for someone with asthma or someone who can’t climb a lot of stairs/rocks. Wear shoes that you can get wet but still have traction. Bring flashlights.

Great hike for the whole family! Saw lots of wildlife! Loved it!

Perfect weather and no loose dogs today.

hiking
6 months ago

if your at backbone go ahead and hit this trail. great views and easy 40 min hike

Beautiful hike, even in mid-February!

Great trail! Scenery was nice with winding paths, bridges, rock formations and the large body of water visible throughout most of the trail. Looking forward to hiking this trail again! Great trail for Hawkeyes to visit when they need a few hours of relaxation!

Interesting history, well maintained, great views, trail well laid out. No camping but it is available just a few miles south at Pike's peak SP.

I feel like this special place is a one time thing for me. Steep in the beginning but gets easier as you walk on. The mounds are interesting and you get to see lots of them. Also has a great scenic view of the Mississippi River. The trail is good to see this historic site and what it's all about.

One of the best trails for trail running with a canine companion - trails are wide enough for both of us and we love the trees and lookout points over the water. So pretty!

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