High Trestle Trail
Get on your bike, put on your walking shoes, saddle up your horse and get out on the High Trestle Trail! This 10-foot wide concrete trail through Madrid is open to bicycles, walkers, runners, skaters all forms of pedestrian use and is paralleled by a 10-15 foot-wide natural surface trail for horseback riding.

Need something to help you enjoy the trail? Check out Trailside Rentals in Madrid. Need a map to the trail? Click here for a map.


The High Trestle Trail Bridge lights have winter and summer hours. In winter, they are only on from dusk until 9 pm. In summer, they are on from dusk until midnight.


Parking is available at the new Johnson Family Trailhead at Dalander Park in Madrid (at Highway 17 and the trail). You can go east or west for some fresh air and fun. Bring a picnic or stop at one or more of the many excellent food and beverage establishments in Madrid. Flat Tire Lounge is right along the Trail, and Brown's Pizzeria and Saddles BBQ Bistro are near the trail and opened recently. Come check them out! Click here for Madrid's complete business directory.

High Trestle Trail Bridge

General Information

Over 23 miles of the High Trestle Trail are finished and in use, from the west side of Madrid to Slater, Sheldahl, and Ankeny on the east. The High Trestle Trail is 25 miles from beginning to end when the bridge over the Des Moines River Valley is completed connecting Madrid to Woodward to the west. In addition, the High Trestle Trail connects to the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail in Slater and will connect to the Neal Smith Trail in Polk County, providing miles of connected trails in the Central Iowa Trail Loop.

It is only a short ride or a good walk (about 2 miles) from the Johnson Family Trailhead at Dalander Park in Madrid to the High Trestle Trail Bridge over the Des Moines River Valley. This half-mile long, 13-story high bicycle-pedestrian bridge (no horses on bridge) will afford trail users spectacular views up and down the Des Moines River Valley. For more information go to www.hightrestletrail.com.

High Trestle Trail Bridge Design

Why are the monoliths at the beginning of the bridge a V-shape? Ever notice that the cribbing pieces gradually get closer together? Why? Learn more on the High Trestle Trail Artwork site.