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“Spectacular views, nice trails”

Mines of Spain Recreation Area
Ranked #4 of 67 things to do in Dubuque
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Dubuque, Iowa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Spectacular views, nice trails”
Reviewed January 5, 2010

Great for the tourist view of the Mississippi River at the Julien Dubuque Monument. The nature center is small but informative, currently undergoing renovations, though. There is a trail of old buildings with a small chapel-like building on the side of a hill. Very charming and picturesque. Don't miss that. Also, do not miss the Horseshoe Bluff trail. It's like a mini Grand Canyon. I had no idea, and walked the first few minutes on the trail, expecting just your average walk in the woods thing, until we got to the top and saw the small but gorgeous canyon down below. It took our breath away! You then hike to the bottom, then across, then along some waterways before returning back to the beginning. So many Dubuquers never even heard of it, and it is one of the most beautiful sites I've seen in the area. Trails can be flat, the one UP to the monument is short, but steep, a nice little challenge. You can also drive up to it if hiking isn't your thing. Some of the other prairie trails are so quiet and peaceful. Very restful.

4 Thank Kibblet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Davis, Illinois
Level Contributor
52 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful Views”
Reviewed July 22, 2009

Mines of Spain offers great views of the Mississippi River and a lesson on the history of the area from the Julien Dubuque Monument area. When we were there they were starting to put a railing around the monument (to keep people off the cliff) which I think will look tacky in your monument photos but won't keep you from seeing the view. The E. B. Lyons Nature Center, although old and only partially handicapped accessible, is interesting and offers live fish, lizards and amphibians, a place to sit and view of the bird/butterfly garden, and some history on the area. They are raising money to update the nature center so it will be even better. The staff even let a couple of kids help feed the critters downstairs.

My traveling companion can not handle steep hikes so we did not try any of the trails.

If you are coming from US 20 that there are no good signs directing you to the park as you travel southward on Rtes. 151/52/61. If you want to go to the monument area first, exit at Grandview Ave. to get to Julien Dubuque Drive. If you want to hit the southern part/nature center, turn left where 52 splits off. Bellevue Heights Road is the first left - take that to get to the E. B. Lyons Nature Center. Otherwise continue down 52 to Olde Massey Road - they do have a small sign there.

If you are coming north on 62 there are signs telling you to turn on 52. There are none for the monument, though, until after you exit on Grandview Ave.

1 Thank mmoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
“Soak up the Beauty of the Mississippi Views”
Reviewed December 10, 2008

On a weekend visit to Galena, we had planned to do a little hiking over the trails in Iowa. After the snow fall we made our way to the parking area at Catfish Creek. From here it is a half mile climb to the top where Julien Dubuque and Chief Peosta's monuments are.
I must say the views were magnificient and we managed to see bald eagles feed their young. It was definately nature at its best. Look North and you can see the towns of Dubuque and look South down to the meanders of Old Man River. From here we took a different trek back down and if you want to trek further go across the road to Catfish Creek which is a moderate 2 mile circular route. Word of Warning - check out what hunting is on. We had to plan our hike around this.
Thoroughly recommended if this is your bag, you can drive to it when the weather is better and read the deatils at the top and there is a telescope to get more views.

2 Thank Spiderpig41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“A fun place to observe nature, hike, and appreciate Dubuque's beauty.”
Reviewed February 11, 2008

Very beautiful place, awesome view of the Mississippi. You almost want to get lost on the trail, seeking many adventures such as climbing up hill sides & cliffs. Also you can see Julien Dubuques grave. Definatly suggest going there!

Thank shawnaanne419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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