Well, it looks like the warm weather is finally upon us which means spending a lot more time outside. To help you plan your spring adventures, here are 11 of my favorite outdoor spots in and around Dubuque.
1. Eagle Point Park: Besides the Riverwalk, this may be the most well-known spot in town. One can hardly wonder why since the park gives a stunning overlook view of the Mississippi and Dubuque Lock and Dam 11.
2. Balltown Scenic Overlook: North of Dubuque about 45 minutes, you will find the little village of Balltown. The Balltown Scenic Overlook offers amazing views of the Iowa countryside with a little peek at the river as well. Check out Breitbach’s Country Dining while you’re there.
3. Finley’s Landing: Once the water temperature is warm enough to swim, you can find me at Finley’s living out my childhood spent on the river. It is the closest beach on the river you can get to without a boat.
4. Mount Carmel: Home to the BVM Sisters, Mt. Carmel sits atop the bluff of the Mississippi. It is a peaceful place to talk with friends or even for some alone time.
5. White Pine Hollow: This is a state forest preserve near New Vienna, IA, about 45 minutes. It is very rustic without trails and requires a hiking GPS (not your phone), staying in groups, long sleeves, shoes, and pants.
6. Whitewater Canyon: Near Bernard, IA, this park is a great place for a nice and easy hike with friends leading to the overlook of the creek below.
7. Gramercy Park: In East Dubuque, this gives you a great view of what Dubuque looks like from the “other side.” Head up to Gramercy for a serene view or host a barbecue with the grills they have for use.
8. Heritage Trail: Running from Dubuque to Dyersville, this trail is great for bikers and hikers alike. Access the trail in either city, or anywhere between and walk/bike to your heart’s content.
9. The Arboretum: This spot in Dubuque features lots of beautiful flowers and trees which will be blooming soon and throughout the spring.
10. Swiss Valley: This park has tons of trails for the seasoned and beginner hikers alike. A great perk to this park is it has bathrooms with running water.
11. Chaplain Schmitt Island: Chaplain Schmitt Island is a great place to go for a walk or a bike ride around with great water views and paved trails. There are even some good spots for hammocking as well.