Backbone Forest Trails is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Clayton County and Delaware County, Iowa. It is within Backbone State Forest and Backbone State Park. It is 5.8 miles long and begins at 1,145 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,211 feet.
Backbone Forest Trails Professional Reviews and Guides
"When E. R. Harlan spoke during the 1920 ceremonies dedicating Iowa’s first state park, he quoted Shakespeare to convey the importance of the sanctuary: “those who ‘find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything’ will find here an exalted interest.” Indeed, the Backbone, a narrow ridge sculpted by the Maquoketa River, towers above Backbone Lake and offers a breathtaking view of the gorge below. In the park’s large tract of forest—untouched for the past eighty years—you’ll find diverse migratory bird visitors and more than 600 species of plants."
--Elizabeth Corcoran Hill, Hiking Iowa (Falcon Guides).
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