Scenic USA - Iowa

Backbone Lake

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Backbone Lake - Backbone State Park, Dundee, Iowa

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Backbone State Park, Iowa's first state park, was dedicated in 1920. The Backbone name dates back Backbone Lake Shelter - Backbone State Park, Dundee, Iowa over 100 years and acknowledges one of the park's main features, the Devils Backbone. In the distant past, a spring fed Maquoketa River wound its way through Iowa's plains. Over time the water's relentless forces cut a large river meander through the bedrock. The neck of this meander had thinned enough to take on an appearance of a large backbone. The two mile Backbone Trail Loop leads onto the peninsular shaped neck and out to the teardrop shaped end. The pathway, just a trail's width in some places, is accentuated with shear 80 foot drop-offs to each side, unnerving those without an adventurous spirit.
   A beach shelter, Backbone Loop Trail - Backbone State Park, Dundee, Iowa built by the Conservation Civilian Corps during the 1930s, overlooks this peaceful scene of Backbone Lake. Constructed of local stone, the lake's focal point had been recently cleaned and renovated for family gatherings. Building the lake was another CCC project, created by damming up the Maquoketa River. Here in east-central Iowa, this popular park provides 21 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, great trout fishing, loads of lakeside fun, camping areas and a nostalgic look into the park's history at the Conservation Civilian Corps Museum, opened in 1990.

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