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Review Highlights
Wonders of Nature

Great park with many areas to explore while hiking. I recommend the backbone hike with medium... read more

Reviewed October 3, 2018
Jerod M
Cedar Falls, Iowa
The best state park in Iowa

This park has activities for everyone. It has streams, a lake, trails, camping, cabins to rent, and... read more

Reviewed September 20, 2018
Mount Dora, Florida
via mobile
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Reviewed November 19, 2011

This park is a popular attraction to those of us who live in Northeast Iowa. The main focus is the Backbone Trail, which runs on a spine of Dolomite Rock. The feature gets its name from the stories the Pioneers heard about it from the American Indians they met. After hearing the stories they called the feature The Devils Backbone, which was shortened to Backbone when the State Park was established. Most trails here are long, fairly difficult, and some with steep grades. Campgrounds are still the old style, open, some trees, no privacy, and crammed together. The cabins run the gambit from old ccc cabins (one bedroom jobbers), to modern 2 story ones. Note, in the coming years the remaining ccc cabins may be replaced, or restored. As of this review the issue is being discussed. Personally I liked the 70 year old CCC cabins and will miss them if they decide to replace them. But they are starting to fall apart and the issue does need to be addressed. At the time of my visit the park did receive a lot of damage from the last flood season, most however seems to be addressed. Will post a new review when I can get out there next. Usually, the park is a popular attraction during the summer, especially in the northern unit which is popular with fishermen because of the spring and trout. During this time expect the solitude to be disturbed by noisy cars and motorcycles, always found those irritating in this park as the sound is usually amplified in the valleys of this park. During the fall and winter months the North Unit is usually closed off for the most part. You can still walk in, but it isn't usually shoveled. Like all Iowa State Parks it is free to the public.

Date of experience: April 2011
2  Thank atrusmmiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.