Fall Colors

Trail:  High Trestle - Woodward to Madrid

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/325680657

Date: 10-27-13

Time: 11:30 am

Weather: 50/ Windy/Sunny

Mileage: 11


  • The High Trestle Trail is a 25 mile trail between Ankeny and Woodward.  Because of the wind I opted for a short, leisurely ride to take in the fall colors.  

  • I began my ride at the Woodward trailhead.  It’s modern and relatively new with with picnic areas and restrooms.  Madrid’s trailhead is really nice too with restroom facilities, bike racks designed in the theme of “The Bridge”, picnic areas, and even places to tie up your horse!

  • The concrete trail is in perfect condition with very slight grades.  Wide shoulders keep trees a nice distance away from the trail while continuing to provide a buffer for windy days like today.

  • Just East of “The Bridge” there is a parking area with a port-a-potty. There are also several benches at various points along the trail to use for catching your breath or just soaking in the beautiful views of Iowa timber.


  • This is a great trail for enjoying the fall colors.  There are minimal crossings on this stretch.  All are quiet gravel roads.

  • Lots of people choose to visit “The Bridge” on foot.  Take it slow across the bridge keeping an eye out for pedestrians.  


  • Since it was a short ride today I didn’t make any stops.  The cool thing about both Woodward and Madrid is they have signs posted along the trail for various places to get a drink or a meal.


  • The highlight of this trail is “The Bridge”.  It’s located a bit over 2 miles between Woodward and Madrid.  In the past I found it quite unnerving to cross as it’s 13 stories high and ½ mile long!  Thankfully I’ve gotten over my jitters.  Here are some things to look for:

    • At the entry points there are huge towers.  Their design represents the geology of the area.  The spiraling steel frames represent supports used inside coal mines that were once in operation around the Madrid area.

    • There are several overlook spots for taking a break to enjoy the view.  

    • Educational signs are posted providing information on the bridge and local habitat.

  • When entering Madrid you get the fun of riding under 1 bridge and 2 tunnels.  One of the tunnels has some really cool, can’t miss, art work.


  • After finishing my ride and packing up back in Woodward, I took a few minutes to enjoy a small  snack of  homemade breakfast cookies.  Ending a ride with cookies is always a good thing!