The highlight? Zipping across the 156-foot-high Bass Point Creek High Trestle Bridge.

About 50 miles northwest of Des Moines, the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad has a long history of leisurely passenger trips through the Des Moines River Valley, offering riders a chance to glimpse Iowa's spectacular scenery, dine on board and embrace the romance of rail travel.

Last summer, the arrival of Rail Explorers, a first-of-its-kind experience in the Midwest, turned the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad into a destination for the modern age. During a 12.5-mile round trip, open-air tour, visitors zip along the tracks on a motor-powered rail bike. The biggest thrill? Crossing the 156-foot-high Bass Point Creek High Trestle Bridge and taking in panoramic views of the Des Moines River Valley.

Each pedal-powered bike is designed to glide along railroad tracks. All riders include pedal-assist technology to make the experience effortless and leisurely, so guests can relax (hands-free) and capture photos and video of the scenic farmland and the Des Moines River below.

The journey takes about two hours to complete, and guests are allowed to bring drinks and snacks for the journey. Children and adults of all ages can ride, though each child must have their own seat, and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Boone Bridge Girls, Rail Explorers USA
Credit: Rail Explorers USA

The Rail Explorers experience in Boone is the only one in the Midwest. Other U.S. locations include Cooperstown, N.Y.; the Catskill Mountains, N.Y.; and Rhode Island.

Tours at the Boone location will resume in April 2023. To book your excursion and for more information, visit the Rail Explorers website.