Trail Area

Pine Lake State Park

About This Area

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Pine Lake State Park is a 585 acre state park located between the towns of Eldora and Steamboat Rock in Iowa.  The park encompasses dirt trails surrounded by ancient white pine woodlands and paved bike trails weaving around the two lakes, Upper Pine Lake and Lower Pine Lake.  The trails that take you around Lower Pine Lake include built-in wooden and stone steps to different elevations and many cool old bridges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and maintained since by AmeriCorps.  In addition to hiking trails, the park offers boating, fishing and camping in either primitive sites or one of the four cabins.  There is a picnic shelter and playground nestled adjacent to the tent campsites overlooking the lake.  There is also a sandy beach area with more covered picnic space and bathrooms.

Area Features

Rangers Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
Nearby convenience store Yes
Trash Disposal No

Trail Area Highlights

There are so many different trail options within Pine Lake State Park!  If you want to be able to push a stroller, there is the paved bike and recreation trail that starts at the cabins along the Iowa River and crosses the highway to take you around half of Lower Pine Lake.  If you are looking for a shorter dirt trail, Hogsback Nature Trail offers a crushed gravel path along the ridge of the woods above the river.  If you want to circumvent the entire lake and get views from every angle and a good leg workout from all the stair climbing, then take the 3 mile loop along the South Trail connecting to the Recreation Trail.  Iowa is not known for its beaches, but if you wan to pretend you are at the beach, there is a sandy play area with restrooms and a covered picnic shelter and benches along the paved recreation trail too!

Relevant Trail Links

Trail Contributor

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My name is Nicole Low and I am the ambassador for Hike it Baby Eldora in North Central Iowa.  I am a stay at home mom to my two little hiking princesses, Emma Grace (4) and Adia Elizabeth (2), and I work occasionally as a Labor/Delivery Nurse.  We’ve been hiking with HiB since 2015 and loved the community it gave us in Des Moines so much, I decided to head up a branch in the small town of Eldora after moving here.  Despite its small population size, Eldora boasts a lot of wonderful hiking areas, including the beautiful Pine Lake State Park.