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Level: Easiest
Length: 46 mi (74 km)
Surface: Greenway
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +225/ -194 ft
Total: 24 riders

Mountain Biking High Trestle Trail

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#19 of 94 mountain bike trails in Iowa
#2,900 in the world

This is a converted "Rails to Trails" project. An easy, flat meandering ride through the corn fields of Iowa. It ends at the High Trestle Trail Bridge that crosses the Des Moines River - an impressive structure to go check out.

First added by zanger on Aug 5, 2013. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
In the town of Ankeny, Iowa, just north of downtown Des Moines. Head north on I-35. Exit at First Street in Ankeny, Iowa, and head west. Pass Southwest Maple Street, and then look for the trailhead on your right under the water tower.
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High Trestle Trail Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 29, 2019)
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  • agirlcyclist

    Concrete bridge. Fun to ride at night when lights on.

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  • rambler

    Cant call this a mountain bike trail but if you want some pavement miles this is a great spot. The bridge is a must see at night when it is lit up. The bridge is on the north-west end of the trail. Several places to get a drink or a snack along the way as well.

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  • DPaglia

    Most has been said. Except for the childish grin rushing past the blue lights and hearing the wind put on my 30 year old face.

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  • Bowman1

    I think the original review pretty much says everything that needs to be said, but I would like to add a few things.

    The trail runs from Ankeny to Woodward, with Sheldahl, Slater, and Madrid serving as waypoints. Its paved the entire distance with concrete, and you can connect with the Heart Of Iowa Nature Trail (HOINT) in Slater which goes all the way into Melbourne (some road riding required). Keep in mind though the HOINT trail is NOT paved but crushed limestone. Skinny tires beware.

    While seeing the high trestle at night is well worth the trip, use caution. The trail is full of kids, dogs, baby strollers, walkers, and inexperienced cyclists on warm summer evenings, so be alert and make sure you have a light. The trail between Slater and Madrid is much less traveled than the stretch between Madrid and Woodward.

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  • zanger

    An easy "Rails to Trails" conversion - flat and rolling through the Iowa corn fields. Just another excuse to get out on your mountain bike and cruise out into some place different than the mountains of the West. The trail heads out to the historic High Trestle Bridge that crosses over the Des Moines River. The bridge is a 1/2 mile long and has an elevation of 13 stories - an impressive structure! Definitely worth the ride. The bridge also has been reconfigured artistically with metal arches and lighting - ride the trail in the evening and you can take advantage of the bridge lit up at night. 50 mile out-and-back ride.

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