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West Lake Trail

Intermediate

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 321' 98 m
Descent: -193' -59 m
High: 1,213' 370 m
Low: 999' 305 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Kenny Slocum

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The longer and more challenging of the two trails running along Backbone Lake.

Kenny Slocum

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Wildlife

Description

The trailhead for this trail is a little difficult to find. On the other side of the Backbone Lake Dam, you'll find an information station/ranger residence. Right behind these buildings lies the West Lake Trail trailhead.

You can park either just after you cross the dam and follow the shore of the lake to the trailhead, or park at the info area and head towards the lake to find the trail.

The route travels immediately into the woods, where it rolls quite a bit for the first mile or so. After that it begins to level out, heading through some lowland forest with soft but extremely pleasant tread following ancient floodplains.

In the last third, the trail becomes a bit more rugged before arriving at the park road near the climbing area. The last part of the trail becomes a bit overgrown, but generally follows the meander of the stream.

Flora & Fauna

Sections of this trail are frequented by muskrats, who build nests out of large reeds in swampy areas. These nests are then used by a host of other aquatic birds, relatively common along the marshier sections of this trail.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Photos, Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed

Contacts

Land Manager: Iowa DNR

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Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#17974

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#64

in Iowa

#17,974

Overall
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94 Since May 16, 2016
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