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Chinquapin Ridge Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

2.4 mile 3.8 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 439' 134 m
Descent: -102' -31 m
High: 1,106' 337 m
Low: 734' 224 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

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A beautiful traverse with river views and abundant shade.

Kenny Slocum

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Description

From the McGregor parking area, the trail climbs steep switchbacks to gain the ridge. After a little less than a mile the Hickory Hollow Loop branches off to the right, connecting eventually to the Point Ann Trail.

A "false summit" of sorts appears as the trail levels out for a few tenths of a mile, before making one last steep climb to gain the ridge properly. From there, gently rolling hills with minimal technical difficulty allow hikers to pick up the pace. The trail follows right on the edge of the bluff, allowing spectacular views of the Mississippi to dominate the first half of this trail before the ridge meanders perpendicular to the Big River. The "overlook" portions are also dotted with mounds built by prehistoric Native Americans.

A few junctions with the Bluebird and Weeping Rock trails allow visitors to shorten or lengthen looped routes, respectively. Ignoring those junctions, the trail ends at the Homestead parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Sections of deep shade and steep cliffs give way to south-facing prairies, meaning this route runs the gamut of upland habitats. Expect spectacular plant diversity throughout the seasons. Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures drift lazily along the cliffs, and Barred Owls cruise the woods even in daytime. Bobolink have been spotted on the prairie near Homestead.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Contacts

Land Manager: Iowa DNR

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#12466

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#38

in Iowa

#12,466

Overall
7 Views Last Month
251 Since May 15, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Bluebird trail in -5°f conditions
Jan 26, 2018 near McGregor, IA

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