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High Trestle Trail, Ankeny

#1 of 30 in Trails in Iowa
High Trestle Trail is a rail trail running from Ankeny, Iowa, to Woodward, Iowa. The recreation trail opened on April 30, 2011. It is a paved recreational trail that runs through the counties of Polk, Story, Boone, and Dallas in Iowa. The trail's name is derived from a former 1913 bridge that spanned the Des Moines River between the towns of Madrid and Woodward.
Conservation board directors and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation estimate that more than 3,000 people use this trail each week. The trail is a major component of a planned pair of 100-mile (160 km) loops that will meet near Des Moines.
The High Trestle Trail follows the route of a former Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) freight line between Woodward and Ankeny, Iowa. UPRR first proposed retiring the line in 2003. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), which had organized other rail-trail projects in Iowa, bought the 439-acre corridor from UPRR in 2005. As part of the transaction, UPRR donated over $3 million of land value. INHF then transferred sections of the land to partner agencies in the five cities and four counties within the corridor.
Construction on the trail, designed by engineering firm Snyder and Associates, Inc. began in early 2006 to include 1010 feet of trail in Woodward. In 2007, bookend projects in Woodward and Ankeny were constructed. The catalyst for construction came from a $5.6 million Congressional appropriation in 2005. With the help of additional state and federal grants, 20 additional miles of trail were completed and opened to the public in 2008.
To visit High Trestle Trail and other attractions in Ankeny, use our Ankeny trip planner .
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190 reviews
  • We drove to Madrid and walked out to the High Trestle Trail Bridge. Beautiful views on a sunny and not to hot day in Iowa. Not to be missed.  more »
  • The High Trestle Trail is just an amazing biking and walking trail just outside of Des Moines. It’s a flat, all paved concrete and asphalt, and about 26+ miles overall. My recording will show more tim...  more »

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