Backbone Lake Dams

River/Stream: Maquoketa River

Location: Backbone State Park, 5 miles south of Strawberry Point, Delaware County
        Latitude: 42.600692
        Longitude: -91.5367573
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Built: 1930's by CCC

Owner: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Height: 25 feet

Length: 110 feet, two dams flanking an island

Hazards: drowning, height, usage; be aware there are two dams flanking an island

Warning Signs: none

Portage: multiple portage locations within the Backbone State Park shoreline. Excellent portage at DNR boatramp located on the island between the two dams.

Comments: canoe water trail begins below these dams.

Fatalities 1

  • August 2, 1936 - Joseph Lathrop, boating

Photos by Dave Hillman