Explore the most popular Parks in Iowa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day ago

Great trail for a family hike.

Good fun. We needed some fresh air and the kids had energy to burn. :) And, BONUS: No flu on the trails! ;) Perfect for a sunny, winter day.

Had a great time doing this with my teen daughter and her friend in early-early spring. We literally didn't see another person the entire time we were in the forest. The western part of this loop is fantastic - it feels wild, it's not super easy, the terrain is somewhat rugged. I think they could do a better job of keep the trail off roads on the eastern and northern parts though, as it ruins the ambience to walk along a road. Still, this was better than we expected, and it was fun to get in some good snow-free backpacking while Minnesota is still covered in snow and ice.

We stayed at the Brown's Hollow camp, which was quite a lot less primitive than I expected, given that it's a filter and cathole camp area - there are big, proper fire grates and benches in predefined camping areas. Given the iffy weather, that was an unexpected perk. I'd certainly do this again.

walking
11 days ago

It’s quiet minus the traffic nearby but loads of birds and a good distance with no real inclines/declines for need an even level path.

Just a nice beautiful hidden gem, a great walk and just a beautiful area since it’s all been redone!!

hiking
22 days ago

Took my dog for a walk around the lake and it was so peaceful. Late March had the frogs chirping like crazy, saw birds, squirrels, and deer.

walking
24 days ago

The eastern trail head begins at the Mormon Handcart park and has several historical markers. Nice paved path.

Great trail by Iowa’s standards! Compared to Colorado yah no

It was shorter than first listed. And only squirrels existed for animals to view.

hiking
1 month ago

None of the trailheads are marked when driving around and there are very few if any signs for some of the trails. I went to the kayak launch site for the west Pahaw trail head which connects to the Overlook. I tried to take the Overlook but have no idea if I was on the trail or not as it was not marked but in one spot.

hiking
1 month ago

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

Trail is closed until end of March. They’ve sprayed the trail and the sign at the little walking bridge says it’s closed till about April 1st.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked trail for the first time yesterday. without a trail map it's difficult to know your way around. The trail itself was awesome. Would definitely reccomend and will definitely return.

road biking
1 month ago

Did the taco ride so only about 11 miles of it but its always a beautiful ride. The trees look very beautiful in the fall.

Flat with river and some trees.

walking
1 month ago

Great for a beginner just looking to get outdoors for a bit.

hiking
1 month ago

Great scenery! We enjoyed the hike to the saw mill.

walking
1 month ago

Easy paved trail around a lake. Nice for a walk

hiking
1 month ago

Short easy walking path. Peaceful prairie surround most of the well maintained cement path. Various signs with interesting facts about the area history and wildlife. I would like to see this path during the spring bloom season.

Beautiful hike, even in mid-February!

I used to come fishing here quite a bit.. sad to see the lake is gone. There are some other smaller ponds around the trails I noticed. In terms of hiking, the trails are pretty and variable, though can be tricky to spot at times off the gravel paths / roadways.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trails, even in the winter!

I hiked in and stayed one night this weekend. Very happy with the place. Online maps are not entirely accurate for the 8 camp sites. Call their number or grab a map when you pay registration. I love that each spot is secluded from the others and a little ways off the trail. If you are carrying a pack the hills will challenge your legs.

2 months ago

Great trail, better for walking or biking than running. I use it constantly.

cool rock formations.

beatiful views. we hiked in January during a warm weather pattern. bald eagles all over the river.

trail running
3 months ago

Love this spot. Loving running along the trail and watching the sunrise and coming back and see it set :)

love this trail! use it for training for long distance hikes.

Today was snowy but above freezing. The trail was a good amount of hills and tree cover. It blocked the wind and made for an enjoyable hike. Since we could here hunters toward the eastern end of the trail, we only did the western half. We will definitely go back again.

walking
3 months ago

Nice, easy trail. Gets buggy in summer. Watch out for hooligans; if walking or biking alone, take a big dog with you.

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