Backbone State Forest is adjacent to the northeast corner of Backbone State Park, 4 miles south of Strawberry Point. Access to these 186 acres of pine plantations and upland hardwood forest is from a parking lot located just east of the north entrance to Backbone State Park. This parking lot is a convenient place to unload horses or snowmobiles. Although the area is not open to snowmobiling in Backbone State Forest, sleds may be unloaded in the parking lot and ridden the short distance to the park entrance on the road or in the road ditch. Backbone State Park is open to snowmobiling.
Backbone State Forest is open to hunting, hiking, horseback riding and cross country skiing.
Backbone State Forest was acquired for the purpose of protecting the watershed of the lake at Backbone State Park. Most of the land being farmed at the time of acquisition was planted to Red, White, Jack, and Scotch pine. The extensive trail system rose out of a system of fire breaks that were developed to protect these plantings.
Users should be aware that hunting and horseback riding are legal on Backbone State Forest but not on Backbone State Park. We have made every effort to plainly mark boundaries between the two areas.
YRSF, 729 State Forest Road
Harpers Ferry, IA 52146
or e-mail: Bruce.Blair@dnr.iowa.gov