This 26-mile trail begins in Ankeny and runs north/northwest through the towns of Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid and Woodward. The trail was officially opened April 30, 2011 and has quickly become one of Iowa’s most prolific and popular trails. The highlight of the trail is a 130’ tall, ½ mile long bridge that takes bicyclists, walkers, and joggers over the Des Moines River Valley between Madrid and Woodward. This bridge, which features public art representing what it is like to go into a coal mine, is lit at night and offers a spectacular view of the DSM River Valley 365 days a year.
The $15 million trail was a collaborative partnership between numerous jurisdictions and features numerous trailheads and parking accesses. Additional amenities will be added as funds become available. The entire trail is hard surfaced (either asphalt or concrete) and is perfect for bicyclists, walkers, joggers and those on roller blades. The trail is close to other recreational and cultural facilities and is a short distance in any of the towns to restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.
The starting point for the trail in Ankeny is just west of the Fire Station and parking is available at the city’s park and ride parking lot located off of NW Ash Drive.
Directions to Ankeny HTT Trail
Take 1st street exit off the Interstate.
Go west on 1st Street to NW Ash Drive.
Turn right on NW Ash Drive.
Take your first left past the Fire Station (Ankeny Park and Ride Lot).
The trail is located on the SW corner of the parking lot.
Closest location to park car and visit the bridge
Follow Highway 210 through the community of Madrid.
You will be heading west.
Off of Highway 210, you will see a sign for “QF Lane”. Turn left on QF Lane (gravel road) and follow QF Lane to the trailhead parking area. This parking lot approximately 3/10 of a mile from the bridge – a short walk.
Other parking facilities
Ankeny – Park & Ride Parking Lot
Madrid – Trailhead off of Hwy 17 (just follow the signs)
Woodward – Trailhead depot just as you enter Woodward off of Hwy 210
As additional funding is procured, permanent restroom facilities will be built. Currently there are kybos at each of the trailheads and just off the trail in each community you can find more permanent restroom facilities.
Here are a few videos produced by the City of Ankeny in regard to the dedication of the High Trestle Trail on April 30, 2011.