Type: Rail Trail

Length: 26 miles

Surface: Paved


Awesome Shape

Grade - Gentle Grades



The High Trestle Trail is part of the 670-mile Central Iowa Trail System. The trail currently runs from through Woodward, Madrid, Slater, Sheldahl and Ankeny.

The cetnerpiece of the trail is the High Trestle Trail bride located between Madrid and Woodward. The Bridge is one of the largest trail bridges in the country. The bridge rises 13 stories and visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view from six overlooks.

"A nocturnal bridge crossing is an absolute must for any visit," writes Rails to Trails magazine editor-in-chief Karl Wirsing.

Location - Where is this Trail?

The trail is located in Central Iowa and extends through four counties (Polk, Story, Boone and Dallas).
The trail is easy to get to from either Interstate I80 or I35.






There are Trailheads at Ankeny, Slater, Madrid and Wooward. There is also a parking area near the bridge off QF Lane which is the first gravel road to the East of the Bridge off 334th Road (the highway that runs parrallel to the trail on the North)  MAP

Sites & Attractions

Whether you want to eat, drink, rest, shop, camp, look at historical sites, or get a hotel, there is plenty to do along the High Trestle Trail!

There are plenty of sites and attractions in each community. Be sure to stop and "smell the roses".

The bridge with it's lighted archways is as breathtaking at night as it is in the day.

produced by the city of ankeny

History of the Trail

Here are some Trail facts and history of the High Trestle Trail.
The trail opened on April 30th 2011.

Future Plans

Planned Mileage: 6 miles - The Ankeny Connector project aims to extend the High Trestle Trail another six miles from the center of Ankeny to the north side of Des Moines. The project received funding on Oct 14th 2014 for $782,500 along with 12 other State Recreational Trails Projects.


The following members have contributed to the above Trail content.

This trail was last edited by bikeiowa on Jun 17, 2015.

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

20 Wednesday Jun 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    134

3rd Annual TYH Foundation Bike Ride

24 Sunday Jun 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    217

Follow Your Folly - Cruiser 100

30 Saturday Jun 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    6,916

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

30 Saturday Jun 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,050

Tim O'Connor Memorial Ride

30 Saturday Jun 2018 - 1 Sunday Jul 2018
  • Woodward, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,330

Pedal for a Purpose - Benefiting JDRF

1 Sunday Jul 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    75

Full Blue Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

28 Saturday Jul 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    448

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

25 Saturday Aug 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    456

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

22 Saturday Sep 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    458

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

27 Saturday Oct 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    407


10 Saturday Nov 2018
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,348

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

24 Saturday Nov 2018
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    376

Review Features Image

10 Bucket-List Biking Trails

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri March 23 2018
  •   1,165
Feature Features Image

Fenders Brewing joins as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 5 2018
  •   1,345
Feature Features Image

Too Loud - Lights Out

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri September 15 2017
  •   5,600
Feature Features Image

Whiskey River at The District joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon August 14 2017
  •   3,191
Feature Features Image

TRANS IOWA V13 Video Pre-Race Preview and Recap

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon May 15 2017
  •   4,478
Feature Features Image

Wade Franck Memorial Bicycle Ride

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed November 30 2016
  •   7,037
Feature Features Image

The Frontier Shack joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed June 22 2016
  •   8,095
Feature Features Image

Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   6,150
Feature Features Image

Lake Country Cyclists welcomes new Club President

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed October 21 2015
  •   3,717

Latest High Trestle Trail News

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I think the Metal Cowboy rode off into the sunset last night on his way to Sioux City. A friend talked to a guy at the bridge that's been riding for over 20 days from Pittsburg wanting to know where to stay around Madrid. Then another friend said he passed a bagger wearing a cowboy hat on his way to Woodward! Could that be Joe Kurmeskie the famous Metal Cowboy? I thought I read he was riding from Pittsburg but maybe not.

#4 - clunker posted Jul 9, 2015

Be prepared to dismount your steed just west of Madrid. A few feet of trail has been removed. A plywood crossing has been provided to keep your bike clear of the mud. Happy Riding!

#3 - iowabikerides posted Mar 20, 2014

BIKEIOWA has not heard any updates (yet).

#2 - ss posted Aug 27, 2012

I am just wondering does anyone have any info about the accident on the Trail Sunday or hear of the womans condition.?

#1 - Turtlemom posted Aug 27, 2012

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