Hike the Horseshoe Bluff Trail

Horseshoe Bluff Trailhead

Distance

1.6 Miles

Elevation Gain

208 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Grant Whitty

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Horseshoe Bluff offers great views of the Mississippi River and large limestone cliffs. Mines of Spain is home to many wildlife species from birds to white tail deer.

To get to the trailhead within Mines of Spain, drive to the Dubuque area, turn off of Highway 61/151, and on to Highway 52. From Highway 52, turn left onto Mines of Spain Road until you find the parking lot. 

Once you park your car, go up the wooden stairs to the trail. From here you can go either way, as it is a loop trail. I would suggest starting to the left. 

Once you take the left at the top of the stairs, continue along the trail and around the corner. Soon the trail will begin to get steeper. As the trail begins to crest the bluff, you will see a viewing area on the right. 

From the first viewing area you can look south, down the quarry. This is the iconic Horseshoe Bluff point-of-view. After taking in the view, go down to the second viewpoint to look at the rest of the park and the Mississippi River. 

After the viewpoints, make your way down into the valley and through the quarry. Be careful of the cliff sides; make sure you have a good footing. The trail will continue to exit the cliff area, and into a forest.  

The trail will turn to the right around some small ponds. The trail will come to a fork. If you go to the left, it will take you to the parking lot. If you go to the right, it will take you to the top of the stairs from where you started. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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Overall rating: 

Awesome Hike

Great placed to do a little climbing and hike!

Distance

1.6 Miles

Elevation Gain

208 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Grant Whitty

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