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The Bear River Recreation Trail follows part of the Maquoketa River outside of Spragueville and Preston, through bucolic countryside of woodlands, farms and river lowlands. You can start the trail in the burg of Preston by taking the Copper Creek Trail, which is found at the northwest end of town. At its end the Copper Creek Trail loops but continue heading northwest on the Bear River Recreation Trail, another 5.6 miles to its end near the Damon Bridge on County Road Z34.
Much of the trail follows an abandoned rail corridor of the old Milwaukee Road. The trail affords scenic overlooks of the river valley, along with limestone bluffs. You'll find picnic tables along the trail and interpretive signs. You can also drop a line in the water and see what you catch.
Park in Preston and access the Jackson County Recreation Trail from the Copper Creek Trail. You can also park at the north end near the Damon Bridge Fishing Access.
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