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 centerpiece 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 Woodward. 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 parallel 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 Apr 10, 2021.

Upcoming Events

Inaugural High Raccoon Trail Grand Fondo

19 Saturday Oct 2024
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    507


Past Events


30 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Polk City, IA
  • Other
  •    872

Northwestern Trailhead Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

18 Monday Sep 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Other
  •    603

Embrace the Hills 2023

16 Saturday Sep 2023
  • Mondamin, IA
  • Road
  •    4,714

Kyle's Bikes Parking Lot Sale 2023

14 Thursday Sep 2023 - 17 Sunday Sep 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    645

Bicycle Poker Run

3 Sunday Sep 2023
  • Ankeny Des Moines and Slater, IA
  • Other
  •    609

Bikeapalooza Fun Ride Trail Fundraiser

26 Saturday Aug 2023
  • Perisa, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    691

High Trestle Fest 2023

17 Saturday Jun 2023
  • Mad, IA
  • Destination
  •    2,033

Trestle Hustle

17 Saturday Jun 2023
  • Madrid, IA
  • Other
  •    1,324

HANDLEBAR Happy Hour - Firetrucker Brewery & Trailside Tap

18 Thursday May 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Destination
  •    1,954

High Trestle Trail Full Moon Rides

6 Saturday May 2023
  • Madrid, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,824

Pedal with the Police

6 Saturday May 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Safety/Education/Training
  •    1,573

Kyle's Bikes Garage Sale 2023

27 Thursday Apr 2023 - 30 Sunday Apr 2023
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    1,310

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Road Trippin at the High Trestle Trail Bridge

  • bikeiowa
  • Thu October 5 2023
  •   305
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Iowa Realty Home Show - Ankeny - A Community Up Close

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue July 11 2023
  •   1,006
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READY. SET. BIKE IOWA! - a Fun Friday Word Search

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri March 24 2023
  •   1,271
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RAGBRAI L Pass-through towns announced

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 13 2023
  •   2,034
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Hotel Pattee Staycation

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed March 8 2023
  •   1,179
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Best of the Midwest Awards Winners 2023

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon March 6 2023
  •   1,383
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Paul Black Memorial Plaza

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon January 30 2023
  •   1,544
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Sisters in Cheese joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue January 3 2023
  •   1,177
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The Torres Team with RE/MAX Concepts joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed November 9 2022
  •   1,487
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Rideworthy Routes - Get Inspired by Travel Iowa

  • bikeiowa
  • Thu September 8 2022
  •   1,470

Edit Trail

Members of the BIKEIOWA Community can update Trail information. We figure that YOU may know more about the Trail than WE do.


Latest High Trestle Trail News

Have You Crossed Iowa’s Most Unique Bridge?

  • Tue November 07 2023
  •   226

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Iowa By Trail

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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