505 Fifth Ave.
Des Moines Iowa 50309United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Open in spring 2011, a central Iowa bike trail offers bird's-eye views and a 25-mile journey.
If you're looking for a bike ride with a view, try out this new trail in Iowa. The High Trestle Trail's pedestrian bridge stands above the scenic Des Moines River Valley. This 1/2 mile long, 13-story-tall bridge is one of the world's largest, and it is the centerpiece of the new 25-mile trail running between Ankeny and Woodward, Iowa. The contemporary bridge, built with pillars from the former train trestle, celebrates Iowa's past and the bright future of its trails. The Iowa Arts Council found an artist to help enhance the bridge, and that creator pulled inspiration from Iowa's coal-mining history. At both ends of the bridge, a pair of 36-foot-tall pale monoliths show off dark seams of coal. Over the bridge, giant square arches of Corten steel evoke the feel of entering a mine. Beyond the bridge, interpretive signs are a large part of the trail's attraction. There will be 10 panels stationed along the trail, offering overviews of the area's geography, history and modes of transportation. The history of the bridge, along with its 1912 train-trestle beginning, is given a special sign, and the river bank and the individual communities along the length of the trail are highlighted, as well. The High Trestle Trail links to several other trails, including the Heart of Iowa Trail, the Neal Smith Trail and the 4-Mile Creek Greenway Trail. In total, it will connect to more than 100 additional miles of trails.