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“Woodsy and wild”

Yellow River State Forest
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Attraction details
Owner description: State forest with hiking, backpacking, sightseeing, horse trails, and camping
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We really enjoy the Paint Rock trail. Check Allamakee County parks for trail maps. Access road is across from Nobles Island, just south of Harpers Ferry.

The trail is wide and stable, right into the heart of the Driftless hills and valleys and river bluffs.

There's spectacular views at the top, and 200+ year-old white oaks, a rare thing in these woods, to enjoy and ponder upon.

Trail is not too steep. There are also less conspicuous effigy mounds at the top. The trail also takes you through a great-smelling, tall pine grove planted by CCC crews in the 30s.

Bring bug spray and water and your camera. Take your time and enjoy a real gem of a trail.

4  Thank WexfordWordsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 August 2017

With over 8,500 acres, there are many great places to hike, picnic, or fish for trout. Today I hiked up to the Paint Rock (Mississippi River) Overlook in the Paint Rock Unit, about 2.25 miles total. There is a parking lot about a quarter mile beyond the entrance sign, where I left my car. The trail was well marked, the ascent to the ridge-top being a maintenance road for park vehicles. From there the trail was a path through mature pines, then hardwood forest with fantastic views at the overlook. There is also a place for backpack camping near the river overlook - Camp Terry Hennessy. Trail maps are available for download on the IA DNR website.

1  Thank Denis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2016 via mobile

We're getting ready to do a 5-day back country hike in a month and wanted to try out new packs with a full load and Yellow River did not disappoint!

Camping:
We got in just before dusk, loaded on packs and hiked 2.7 miles to
Browns Hollow campsite (you can also drive and walk the last 1/4 mile) . It was the 4th of July weekend and there was only one other camper. The sites are spacious, shaded and well-maintained. Browns Hollow had three fire rings with log benches. No bathrooms or trash, it's pack in and pack out. Best of all the backpacking sites are FREE!

Trails:
The next morning we covered 10 miles on the outside loop for "backpacking". It weaved from one-track wooded trails to gravel roads and back. There was more road hiking than I would have liked to see but there's plenty of interior trails to explore.

The trails are well maintained, well labeled and offer lots of different intensities. And lots of shade!

Hefferns Hill Loop is not for the faint of heart. This was great training for the mountains.

The bluff trail was also great with beautiful views.

We'll definitely be back with the kids!

Thank herd_of_5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2015

I visited Yellow River with my wife last year and the experience left something to be desired. One of the most disappointing aspects of the park was it's outdated map. I am glad to say that they have greatly improved the hiking map, so much so that navigation is much improved. It looks as though they have put some significant work into the trails. And I am glad to say that this park has risen to the top of my ranks for hiking in Iowa. With a stocked trout stream this place is hard to beat.

2  Thank CaseyDwyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 November 2015

Hidden treasure in NE Iowa. This would be a great place to ride 4 wheelers.
It NEEDS a campground with electricity and the place would have 5 times the persons utilizing the park

Thank snowbirdiowa2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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