Although it’s the oldest state park in Iowa, Backbone State Park in Dundee is still among the most popular, and for good reason: it encompasses a gorgeously unique part of the state. From a lake to a rocky ridge to a lookout tower, Backbone State Park hides all this and more within its boundaries. But perhaps none of these attractions are more beautiful, or more easily accessible, than the famed Richmond Spring. Come see why this is one of our picks for the best hikes in Iowa!

Have you visited Richmond Spring before? Which of Backbone State Park’s trails is your favorite? Which of the best hikes in Iowa are your faves?

To learn more about Backbone State Park, you can view its website and get directions to the spring from Cedar Rapids. While you’re in the area, make sure to drive through Strawberry Point!

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Best Hikes in Iowa

Where are some of the best scenic hikes in Iowa?  

Iowa doesn’t get enough credit for its natural beauty if you ask us. It’s a tragically underrated state, especially when it comes to things like hiking; there aren’t exactly a lot of mountains in Iowa, but that just means the hiking trails in Iowa are easier than most and, as a result, enjoyable for hikers of all skill levels. Some of the best scenic hikes in Iowa you’ll want to add to your bucket list are hikes like the Pea’s Creek Canyon hike at Ledges State Park in Madrid. There are four amazing miles of trails at this Iowa state park, but the Pea’s Creek Canyon hike is so beautiful that we think it takes the cake for the best hike in Iowa. Then, there’s the legendary Dancehall Cave Trail, at Maquoketa Caves State Park, which is easily one of the hands-down coolest cave hikes in Iowa.  

What are some fun and easy hikes in Iowa?  

Most of the tails in Iowa are fun and easy, though we do have a handful of top favorites you need to hike someday! With more than 700 hiking trails in Iowa to choose from, where do you even begin? Well, why not try one of the easiest hikes in Iowa to start and see what you enjoy most? We like the beautiful Blue Heron Lake Loop Trail, which is at Raccoon River Park. It’s just over three miles long, and it leads hikers on a gravel and/or paved road through some forest and past a crystal-clear blue lake. We also can’t get enough of the Cedar Cliff Trail at Palisades-Kepler State Park, a 2.1-mile adventure through one of the most beautiful places in Iowa.  

Where is Richmond Springs Trail in Iowa?  

Nestled within Backbone State Park is Richmond Springs, three miles south of Strawberry Point. If you enter the park via the north gate, that’s the closest entrance to the springs. The springs is a wonderful recreation area in Iowa with some of the best fishing in the state, as well as an assortment of other charming water-based recreation and activities. You can even camp at Richmond Springs, as well as many other places within Backbone State Park. Come see why it’s one of our favorite state parks in Iowa 

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