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Best Trails

Mines of Spain State Recreation Area

Dubuque, IA

Mines of Spain State Recreation Area is a 7.5 mile out and back trail located near Dubuque, Iowa. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Puddle Jumper Trail
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3 Completed 3 Reviews

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

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Maquoketa Caves State Park
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27 Completed 5 Reviews

This is my favorite outdoor spot in Iowa, and I'm so glad to see it reopened after the problems with White Nose disease. However, because of the recent outbreak, you now need to check in at the little ranger station when you get into the park (on your left as you head toward the parking area) to get a little wrist band and listen to a brief speech on how to prevent the spreading of the disease. Also, we noticed a few of the trails along the little bluff line have been washed out, possibly due to the harsh winter or summer storms. All caves are still accessible however, and as fun to explore as ever. Not to be missed.

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Effigy Mounds National Monument - North and South Units
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87 Completed 10 Reviews

Having first discovered this National Monument on our way out the the Badlands in 2013, my wife I have been back several times in the last year. We hiked all 12.5 miles as a magnificent day-hike last during the height of color in the driftless last Fall. As noted the 12.5 miles covers trails for both the north and south units, which due to the rolling hills that come up in the last mile to Hanging Rock and again headed to the south unit's mound groups it was an unexpected challenge be the end. Came back again in Feb of this yer and hiked Hanging Rock from 2 degrees to 25 degrees with 24" of snow on the ground, luckily others and the deer had stamped down a lot of trail, but I was rewarded by breaking trail for about 1/4 mile to third senic view (though I had forgotten my snowshoes) and being the only one out that day to see the frozen over Mississippi. These trails and others nearby have been an easy weekender from Chicago that have proven well worth the drive.

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Clive Greenbelt Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

We started at a trail entrance in Colby Park in Windsor Heights, from that park we took the Walnut Creek trail West. The path is completely paved and tunnels take you under most busy roads. The trail follows the Walnut Creek and has several parks and some sculptures along the way. The trial will eventually meet up with the Raccoon River Trial which can take you out of town. We stopped and road back to Colby Park after approximately 7 miles. It was a shaded ride with many bridges that cross the creek. There was several parks along the way that had facilities.

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Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Fun, paved path. Lots of birds, plants and flowers.

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Stone State Park
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

My dogs love to go for a walk to the lake and around it.Lots of great views and have seen some deer and turkeys along the way.Not too over crowded as we are usually alone or just see a couple people along the way.Its close to home so doesn't cost much for gas.

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Wildcat Cave Trail
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51 Completed 10 Reviews

This is a super easy hike as long as the ravine is dry. The cave is a neat bit of history. Very Indiana Jones!

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Bacon Creek Trail
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

watch out for jerks on the mountain bike trails. lot of self proclaimed professionals ride these trails and if you dont have the jerseys, top notch equipment, etc... they are complete ***holes. kindly moving yourself and your bike off the trail isnt enough for them, and i pride myself on trail etiquette. this is not an isolated incident either, has happened multiple times. Try to go early to beat the extremists. Not saying everybody out there is a jerk....just sayin.......

the trail itself is wonderful. lots of great scenery. it has its share of switchbacks and short climbs. no real large obstacles or jumps. A good challenge for me (beginner -moderate skills).

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Stephens State Forest - Woodburn Unit
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26 Completed 1 Reviews

I am writing this after a visit in Dec., and I'm hoping to get back out a few times in the summer. Anyway, this is public hunting land and is packed during deer season. My brother and I hunted the weekend of first shotgun season last year, camping out at one of the pack in campsites on Sat. night. I suggest wearing orange if you must hike during deer or turkey seasons.

Also, I will add that I was quite annoyed at all the ATV's that other hunters were illegally driving through the forest.

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Waubonsie State Park Trail
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16 Completed 9 Reviews

It must be said that I am a backpacker. Give me miles of trails and room to pitch a tent along them and I'm satisfied. However, I also have a family, and that family enjoys the outdoors, but their idea of it is not as extreme as mine. Waubonsie State Park was perfect for them. We rented a cabin, just under $100 a night which came with indoor plumbing, two bedrooms (with doors) indoor fireplace, working kitchen (stove and microwave). A/C and heat, all in a great location. Out back there was access to a fire-pit and even a platform deck built to overlook the woods (Cabin #3). The trails are all pretty short (with exception to the equestrian trail, 5mi) but were filled with beautiful scenes. When my family wants to enjoy the outdoors, this is the first place I'll check.

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