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Backbone State Park, Dundee

4.4
#8 of 56 in Nature in Iowa
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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Backbone State Park is Iowa's oldest state park, dedicated in 1919. Located in the valley of the Maquoketa River, it is approximately three miles (5 km) south of Strawberry Point in Delaware County. It is named for a narrow and steep ridge of bedrock carved by a loop of the Maquoketa River originally known as the Devil's Backbone. The initial 1,200 acres (490 ha) were donated by E.M. Carr of Lamont, Iowa. Backbone Lake Dam, a relatively low dam built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, created Backbone Lake. The CCC constructed a majority of trails and buildings which make up the park.

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Backbone State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
92 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We camped in Backbone for 4 days. The campground was beautiful and the leaves were changing. We didn't have reservations, so had to take a walk-in site. The pull-throughs are not very level, but we... 
    We camped in Backbone for 4 days. The campground was beautiful and the leaves were changing. We didn't have reservations, so had to take a walk-in site. The pull-throughs are not very level, but we...  more »
  • Beautiful grounds, trees and trails. This place has a lot to explore and has camping, a lake and great vistas. 
    Beautiful grounds, trees and trails. This place has a lot to explore and has camping, a lake and great vistas.  more »
Google
  • Love bringing my family here for our annual camping trip. The campground at the south gate is well-kept & has nice bath facilities...the camp hosts are friendly, too. At the North/East gates you can get to lots of hiking & picturesque picnic spots, and a few spots where you can dip your toes in the water. My only wish is that amenities like firewood, etc., were a little closer/more cost effective
  • Has it's own beauty. Goose poop everywhere so be careful where you step close to the park store. Staff do clean but it is hard to keep clean with how many geese wander the area. Very pretty though. Recommend stopping to hike and stay at one of their campgrounds, Six Pines on the North side or South Lake Campground on the South side. Backbone Trail is a must see trail.

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