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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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Brushy Creek Trail
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area is a 6000 acre park with around 45 miles of multi-use hiking trails near Fort Dodge, Iowa. The multi-use trails are shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders, although I only came across two other people during my time there. The trail around the lake is a 13 mile loop on a gravel surface. The other trails are a mixture of dirt and gravel. In addition to the lake, several trails pass by ponds, Brushy Creek, and the Des Moines River. There are also multiple camping areas. All the trails that I saw were well marked with signs at every intersection and trailhead. The Preserve Trail is highly recommended because it offers a great view of the Brushy Creek Valley. The only downsides for me were the occassional sounds of gunfire from the shooting range and having to be watchful for horse droppings on the trails. Overall a great park with many miles of woodland and prairie hiking trails!

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Browns Woods
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3 Completed 3 Reviews

This is a great go-to place for individuals, families/friends, and dogs. Bikes are not allowed, so you don't have a constant worry that someone will come flying around the corner and take you or your dog out. This is just south of Des Moines, so very conveniently located if you live in town. We hike our dogs there usually once a week or more, depending on weather. It can get a little muddy in areas, so if we had a good rain, you might want to wait it out for a couple of days, as spots can get messy and/or slick. Very beautiful year round, but especially in the spring and fall. Excellent shade on a warm summer day, too. Right now they are adding some longer loops (I think set to be complete sometime in 2015), which I'm excited about so I can take longer hikes out there. It's a little hilly, so if you are bringing little ones, you might want to try the small loop first. There are a couple of steeper hills on the big loop.

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Clanton Creek Recreation Area
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3 Completed 3 Reviews

We just had our first visit here and really enjoyed the area. There are several camp sites and various directions and loops you can hike. We brought our dogs with us and it was a little warm on parts of the trail for them, but I think as the foliage grows in (it's early Spring '14 right now), that will help a lot. There were nice hills through out the trail and a river that runs through part of it. Current conditions are very dry, so the river was mostly just a dried up river bed. I look forward to coming back when there is more water. Another perk is that we were here on a beautiful weekend day and didn't see another soul, which I personally like light hiking traffic. Due to the dry conditions, the smell was fantastic. There are some pine tress scattered throughout, so you had that nice mix of earthy/dirt/pine in the air, which made you feel like you were in a mountainous area. We'll definitely be coming back. Only downfall was that it was a bit out of town for us, so we didn't know the area, and the roadsigns/directions were not very well marked.

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Ledges State Park
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3 Completed 3 Reviews

This park is beautiful year round. Wonderful mix of hills with look out spots, a river, and sandstone. Lots of space for camping and/or grilling out, as well. We have a couple of dogs and like finding places we can bring them along, and this place if dog friendly. The dogs love the hike and especially getting to take a swim in the shallow stream that runs through the sandstone. The only downside is this place can get very busy, so best to go during off-peak hours, such as a weekday that you can schedule off work.

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Seven Oaks Recreation
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Located just off of Highway 30 a few miles west of Boone. Great trail with lots of hills and turns in a quiet valley area! Passes over a small creek. You can either take the trail that winds around the edge of the Seven Oaks Recreation Area or explore the side trails within the valley. Great view from the top of the ski hills!

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Van Peenen Park Trail
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2 Completed 1 Reviews

Multiple trails to choose from. Beautiful scenery and well maintenance trail system. You can use your smart phone to scan a code on the main sign to get a trail map.

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Wildcat Den State Park
by Mark Hausmann

1 Completed 1 Reviews

It was the 1st nice day after a long winter and we needed to get the dogs out for a hike. This was our 1st visit to the park and we really like the rock formation and view. Just a nice trail that we will go back and do it again

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Hitchcock Nature Area
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Of the trails around Omaha, I find that Hitchcock provides the best "natural" feeling trail system. I get out there every couple of months and can easily spend 3-4 hours in one afternoon just heading out on a trail and taking a sister trail back to the nature lodge. There are some steeper trails for those looking for more of a challenge and some even graded trails for those looking for a lighter activity. Great for families and not too crowded. It is about a 20-30 minute drive from downtown Omaha.

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Pikes Peak State Park
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29 Completed 21 Reviews

This is as good as Iowa gets. Nice views of the river basin and on some days after a cool night you're actually above the fog looking down which makes for some good pictures.

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Maquoketa Caves State Park
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29 Completed 21 Reviews

Very nice place. You can see alot more in early spring or late fall when there's no leaves on the trees. A must see for Iowa

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