The Mines of Spain State Recreation Area Trails System offers you and your dog a variety of options to get some exercise together. With an interlocking network of hiking and nature trails, you'll be able to choose anything from going on a short stroll to spending most of the day wandering through the facility. Along the way, you and your pooch will traverse mixed forest, farmland, restored prairie, bluffs, and river shoreline. Different wildflowers and trees bloom in this area between early spring and fall.
Start to the north from the Bellvue Road parking lot to take the Woodland Walk, which features the state trees from all 50 states. The Pine Chapel and Lead Mine Trails also begin near the lot and have some historical landmarks along the way. These routes connect to the Mesquakie Trail. Access the rest of the interlinking pathways in the park by following this road. First, you'll hike along a few creeks to reach the Calcite Trail. There's a steep section at the start of the route as you head toward the Horseshoe Bluff Nature Trail. Pause at the scenic overlook to view the Mississippi River and an old quarry. There are additional dirt roads that continue to the southeast part of the park and loop around a prairie restoration and through a stand of red cedars.
The Iowa State Park system allows dogs if they're on a leash. There are some restrooms and running water in here, but plan on carrying refreshments with you for your trek. You'll also want to have bags to collect and carry out any waste.
With about 21 miles of hiking paths, the Mines of Spain Recreation Area Trail System offers the chance to see a variety of flora and fauna. Watch for white-tailed deer, red-shouldered hawks, migratory birds, and more as you hike through the woods and prairie and along the river banks.