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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
Q2385ALjamesl
,
Mount Dora, Florida
via mobile
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All reviews east lake beach area trout looked nice per night barred owl ice fishing tent campers concession stand day trip bring a flashlight full kitchen ccc stream campground hike camping
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Reviewed October 3, 2018

Great park with many areas to explore while hiking. I recommend the backbone hike with medium difficulty. There are many picnic areas to use. The trout streams are many. There is camping and cabins. Or just take a scenic drive through the park.

Thank Jerod M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2018 via mobile

This park has activities for everyone. It has streams, a lake, trails, camping, cabins to rent, and all kinds of fishing. This is another wonder in Northeast Iowa. You cannot go wrong here!

Thank Q2385ALjamesl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2018 via mobile

Iowa's oldest state park with lots to discover. The park has some of the best trout fishing in the state! The woman at the museum was very friendly and knowledgeable. The views at this park are amazing!! They offer RV and tent camping. I will continue to visit this park year after year.

Thank cardinalkid1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2018 via mobile

We’ve been doing a lot of hiking this summer. We decided to head up to backbone state park. Gorgeous. We hiked the Backbone Trail - it’s a short 1.1 mile trail that loops around. Beautiful views, lots of rocks for the kids to climb on. Be careful towards the edges because there are sheer cliffs and falls have occurred.

We also hiked Barred Owl Trail. It’s another shot trail with some incline. Beautiful tall old trees.

We drove up to Richmond Springs, the cave, the trout hatchery and balance rock. Lots of people fishing.

One annoying thing is that you have to exit the park, drive around to the South Gate entrance. The southern section of the park is not connected (via car) to the rest of the park. There’s a lot of camping and a beach in the southern section. The beach had a warning that it was not safe to swim due to algae levels that are harmful to humans. We had planned on hiking part of the east lake trail but it was getting really hot and the kids preferred to head home.

Thank Amanda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2018

The lake beach was great. An outdoor shower, restrooms, and sand beach for small kids all free. the concession stand was a hit with the kids. We rented a paddle boat for 10 per half hour and had a blast. We went for a walk in a stream that was great fun. The cave is a side show. The drive to the cave however was wonderful. A good place to take the kids on a hot summer day.

Thank cdhcch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

We stayed in the family cabin for a quick getaway for Valentine's day. Nice cabin for two people and our two beagles. Nice kitchenette. Would be a bit cramped for a family with older kids, but would be a good size for a family of four that were under 10.

4  Thank Emily C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

We stayed in cabin 5 for my partner's birthday and while the weather was chilly our stay was excellent! The road through the park was closed for the winter but we were able to park at the trail heads, hike in and still enjoy the beauty of the park. Our cabin was perfect-heat was very useful, space was clean and cozy. Will be back! Note for tent campers all the sites seem fairly out in the open, with very little privacy. Wish the camping sites provided a little more than an open field. We will definitely be back for the hiking and cabins!!

Thank Erica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2018

We rented Cabin 2 for 4 nights and 3 days in late March. Equipped with a bed, a futon, full kitchen including (refrigerator/stove/microwave/oven/coffee pot), and a standing shower, it was a perfect place to come back to after a full day of hiking and exploring!

Beach with playground and concession was closed for the season, but it was okay. Plenty of hiking to keep us occupied. The East Lake Trail is located right behind the cabin and can connect to most of the other trails. The North and East Gates were still closed for the season, but you can still hike in to the Backbone Trail, Richmond Springs, the Cave, old Fish Hathery, and more. I think I hiked 15 miles that weekend!

There are a couple of Must-Do Adventures in the park-Backbone Trail and the Cave! Be careful of icy conditions in the winter/spring on the Backbone Trail, and be sure to bring flashlights and kneepads for the cave! We went back as far as we could before having to belly crawl and we even got to see some bats!

Geocaching was fun too! One Earth Cache along the Backbone Trail and the oldest geocache in the state of Iowa off trail further in the park. Somehow I missed seeing the arch bridge.

We didn't get to do any trout fishing. The lake was still half iced over. But this place would be awesome for fishing and kayaking! Next time!

The stars were awesome at night and we saw a ton of satellites too!

Town is close so if you need supplies, it's a quick trip.

All in all, an awesome family vacation spot! I would totally recommend it!

1  Thank safechrisLaurie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2018 via mobile

It was our first hike of the new year and we took our two pups with us. The cabins look very nice and we hope to stay a weekend this summer. There was some ice fishing going on and a couple people had caught some fish. This is a great park and we cannot wait to return more in 2018.

Thank Shelby A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2017

I camped at this park for 3 nights in August 2017. It is one of my favorite parks to camp or hike in. The sites are inexpensive and large. You are allowed to gather firewood or their is firewood on sale at the campground. Beautiful views, peaceful nights.

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