Explore Iowa/Minnesota - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Iowa/Minnesota Map

There is a trail there. That's about it.

Serene and beautiful in November. Well maintained with plenty of paths. I saw several whitetail deer and a large owl. The river is majestic.

Good flat land trail

trail running
6 months ago

This is a spectacular trail for a run. Flat, shaded and scenic, it offers a well-maintained crushed rock surface and a nice distance for an out-and-back run. Follows the Turkey River and cuts through a combination of crops and canopies of trees.

really enjoy this trail.

Amazing views for such an easy short trail!

10 months ago

Beautiful and peaceful in the spring. A lot of opportunities to go off the main trail and explore.

Great Iowa hike!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

An excellent winter hike if you don't mind the often ice-packed trails. Hiking in the winter is a completely different experience.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

great hike with fall colors!

trail running
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Nice trail with a variety of terrains and features. Would definitely do it again.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Fun short hike for the whole family that doesn't experience huge elevation gains but offers great views in a nice wooded savannah.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I arrived after a heavy rain and the area flooded. Many of the scenic areas were not accessible. I hiked parts of the lake trail and the backbone trail. Park did have nice campgrounds.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Always quiet, if your not from the area its definitely worth the stop, a chance to see southern Minnesota at its finest.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Shaded, flat, pretty, low traffic. It's a 33 mile trail. We did 2 miles out from Lake View. The kids loved it for scooters while I ran.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We parked at the south end of the lake and hiked up the east lake trail. This trail follows the lake and provides a variety of geographic features, including rock formations. At the north end we picked up the backbone trail. The views were stunning. There is also a large crevasse that is safe to climb down. My children loved this. We then hiked a connecting trail to a campground where we picked up the west lake trail. The west lake trail is mostly a mowed path through prairie and woods. Compared to the rest of the trails it is not so exciting.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Biked the East and West Lake trails. This is a fairly technical trail on a bike. The east runs right next to the lake. At the end catch the road, head down the hairpin curve to the "flats". Continue straight and climb to the west Park entrance and right before you exit the park take a left into Twin Pines campground and there you can pick up the West Lake Trail. This side of the trail is difficult. Lots of steep hills and loose gravel and large rock. Definitely pushed us! Total loop was about 7 miles.

Lots of beautiful scenery!

road biking
Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nice trail connecting Swan Lake and Black Hawk Lake. Flat other than going around the lakes. Fun bars along the trail.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Cool windy April day with a couple snow showers. My first visit to this terrific place. Hepatica was flowering, small group of white breasted nuthatches near the cave.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Daughter and I had a great hike and what a wonderful and peaceful view

trail running
Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shaded and flat, a nice and easy one

Monday, January 04, 2016

Great views of Fall colors and even spotted two bald eagles.

Friday, January 01, 2016

This is an easy walk up to get to the highest land place in Iowa

rock climbing
Friday, August 14, 2015

Some of the most amazing views, hiking, and climbing in Iowa! Loved the Backbone Trail and all the climbing you can do here. Thanks to 'Roscoe' for showing us the 'Rabbit Hole' that lead us to some hidden places to climb up and through the beautiful bluffs! Recommended for a few hours of hiking and climbing fun.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Pleasant Valley Trail is a paved walking/bicycling trail that surrounds the city of Ida Grove with four miles of paved trail with many entrance points. There is a new extension that goes to Moorehead Park right outside of Ida Grove. This is a very nice trail for biking and walking.

nature trips
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The slopes are great for climbing and the air is refreshing here! I found some really great reviews of the park at http://www.stateparksreview.com/iowa-state-parks/backbone-state-park/, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is new to exploring our beautiful state parks!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Just a nice little trail. It passes farm fields, pastures and some housing areas. We even saw some horses.

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