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Whether you want to leave on a Friday night after work or early Saturday morning, here are some places within a few hours drive from Iowa City that give you an opportunity to do a little backpacking...
Yellow River State Forest - Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Driving Time: 3 hr 15 min
Amount of Trails: 25 miles
Ideal Length of Time: Long Weekend
Yellow River's backpacking trails were featured in an article appearing in the April 1996 edition of "Outside" magazine entitled "America's Top 50 Hikes--The Finest in Every State." The best hike in Iowa was chosen to be the Backpack Trail at Yellow River State Forest. With 25 miles of trails that wind through deep river valleys and over huge bluffs, happen upon overlooks with stunning vistas, and stop along the way at four "backcountry" campsites, it's truly the place for a wilderness experience in Iowa.
(Information from Hiking Iowa written by Elizabeth Corcoran Hill)