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.

Upcoming Events

High Trestle Trail Full Moon Rides

26 Saturday Mar 2022
  • Madrid, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    183

Gents Race 12.0

2 Saturday Apr 2022
  • Slater, IA
  • Gravel
  •    235

Past Events


13 Saturday Nov 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,926

FFFing Ride

26 Sunday Sep 2021
  • Polk City, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    362

Kyle's Bikes Annual Parking Lot Sale 2021

24 Friday Sep 2021 - 26 Sunday Sep 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    1,314

Pedal For A Moment

18 Saturday Sep 2021
  • Woodward, IA
  • Other
  •    1,157

FFFing Ride

12 Sunday Sep 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    689


14 Saturday Aug 2021
  • Storm Lake, IA
  • Road
  •    654

Biking for Babies Ankeny Local Ride

7 Saturday Aug 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    747

Kyle's Bikes Big Ride Repair Event

17 Saturday Jul 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Other
  •    619

Jersey Ride 3.0

10 Saturday Jul 2021
  • Polk City, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,025

Riding on the Edge- JUNE BUG BIKE TOUR

22 Tuesday Jun 2021 - 30 Wednesday Jun 2021
  • Ankeny, IA
  • Other
  •    855

High Trestle Trail Sunday Funday Rides

20 Sunday Jun 2021
  • Madrid, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    1,266

Gents Race 11.0

19 Saturday Jun 2021
  • Slater, IA
  • Gravel
  •    1,194

FirstPrevPage 1 of 48NextLast
Feature Features Image

10 years of the High Trestle Trail - Let's Celebrate!

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 30 2021
  •   1,661
Feature Features Image

Riding on the Edge joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Sat January 30 2021
  •   1,842
Feature Features Image

2020 - BIKEIOWA Year In Review

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun December 20 2020
  •   2,891
Feature Features Image

Small Business Saturday 2020 - SHOP LOCAL

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri November 27 2020
  •   3,293
Feature Features Image

Trailside Tap joins as a Premier BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri October 9 2020
  •   2,087
Review Features Image

Friday Fives Ep. 19 Sept 25th 2020

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun September 27 2020
  •   2,512
Review Features Image

Friday Fives Ep. 18 Sept 18th 2020

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun September 27 2020
  •   1,707
Review Features Image

FRIDAY FIVES - EP.17 - Sept 11th 2020

  • bikeiowa
  • Thu September 17 2020
  •   1,295

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

FirstPrevPage 1 of 56NextLast

Browse by City

view cities along this trail

Connecting Trails

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

Leave a Comment

You must be signed in to leave a comment.