Hike the Horseshoe Bluff Trail

Horseshoe Bluff Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Grant Whitty

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. 

Distance

1.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

208 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Lena KOA

Lena, Illinois

Rock Island / Quad Cities KOA

Rock Island, Illinois

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Overall rating: 

Awesome Hike

Great placed to do a little climbing and hike!

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