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West Lake Trail

Intermediate
 3.7 (3)

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


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Map Key

3.0

Miles

4.8

KM

Point to Point

1,213' 370 m

High

999' 305 m

Low

321' 98 m

Up

193' 59 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Unknown

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.

Contacts

Land Manager: Iowa DNR

Shared By:

Kenny Slocum

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#22737

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
67%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#81

in Iowa

#22,737

Overall
4 Views Last Month
192 Since May 16, 2016
Intermediate

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Weather


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Check-Ins

Sep 3, 2021
Michelle Graham
Did this trail in the rain. Slick in some spots and has some washouts in the trail. The bridge is slick when wet!! 5.3mi
Aug 4, 2020
Ivonne NaPett
2.5mi