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.

TYH Foundation Bike ride

25 Sunday Jun 2017
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    586

Kyle's Bikes Wednesday Night Ride

28 Wednesday Jun 2017
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Road
  •    207

DMCC's High Trestle Trail Night Ride!

30 Friday Jun 2017
  • Slater, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    521

Slater Iowa's 4th of July Poker Run

4 Tuesday Jul 2017
  • Slater, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    220

Full Blue Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

8 Saturday Jul 2017
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    365

Jazz in July - Betsy Hickok Quartet at Ankeny Bandshell

27 Thursday Jul 2017
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Other
  •    105

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

5 Saturday Aug 2017
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    298

Big Creek Bikes & Brews

19 Saturday Aug 2017
  • Polk City, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    33

Pedal for the House

26 Saturday Aug 2017
  • Madrid, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    213

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

9 Saturday Sep 2017
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    262

Pedaling for Autism

23 Saturday Sep 2017
  • Madrid, IA
  • Destination
  •    476

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride

7 Saturday Oct 2017
  • Slater or Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    260

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