Mines of Spain

The Mines of Spain Recreation Area and E.B. Lyons Interpretive and Nature Center are located on 1437 acres of beautiful wooded and prairie land just south of Dubuque, IA. The area has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and includes Julien Dubuque’s Monument at a point just above where Catfish Creek meets the Mississippi. One of Iowa’s “Watchable Wildlife Areas,” it features the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center which serves as the Visitor Center and the Park Office. Come see the Horseshoe Bluff Interpretive Trail, the 15-acre wetland, creeks, forest, prairies, cropland, meadows, and the Mississippi River from a bald eagle’s view. Picnic with us, go for a hike or cross country ski on one of our many trails, and maybe you will capture a glimpse of a songbird, bobcat, red-shouldered hawk, flying squirrel, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, or various butterflies along the Mississippi River Bluffland. This page managed and donated by the Friends of the Mines of Spain.


Composed of untamed, wooded land, this 1432-acre park offers hiking, hunting, paddling, picnicking, & cross-country skiing. Check with the park manager for cross-country ski routes, from the interpretive center to the south end of the recreation area. 6 miles trails groomed for cross country skiing when snow permits and 21 miles of maintained hiking trails. There are 6 individual nature walks within the park, including those at the E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center and another at the Horseshoe Bluff Site. Other trails provide a wide range of opportunities for visitors to view Mines of Spain on old winding logging roads, to view limestone bluffs, scenic overlooks, and to enjoy a hike through forests and prairie. Some of the trails are steep and challenging. Dogs on 6-foot leashes are allowed. No bikes allowed.