The High Trestle Trail is 25 miles in length and travels through Woodward, Madrid, Slater, Sheldahl, and Ankeny. The wide concrete trail is in fantastic condition and does not have significant grades or hills. The majority of the trail is flanked by trees. Trailheads with water and restrooms are available in Woodward and Madrid. Parks in Slater and Ankeny can be used as locations for starting a ride.
Less than 10 miles from of Ankeny is The Oasis. It’s a trailside rest stop constructed as a memorial to a local cyclist. With it’s shaded picnic area, water fountains, restroom and views of Iowa farmland, it’s a great spot for taking a break along the trail.
The highlight of this trail is the bridge. Crossing the Des Moines River it is 13 stories high and a half mile long. The design of the bridge pays tribute to the coal mining industry that one thrived in the area. The spiraling steel frames represent supports used in the coal mines and the designs of the entrance towers depicts veins of coal found in limestone. There are several overlooks on the bridge for enjoying the view of the river valley. Educational signs are posted providing information on the bridge and habitat found in the area.
When am I going to stop leaving things behind? It seems like I'm always forgetting to bring something along on my bike rides. Money, bike lock, and sunglasses, seem to be the most frequently forgotten. Today it was my water bottle. Despite having brought it along on the drive to Ankeny, in my haste to hit the trail I left it behind.
The weather was cool and windy so I wasn't worried about over-heating. Plus, there's water available along the trail less than 7 miles from Ankeny's trailhead.
Turns out I wasn't the only distracted cyclists out on the trail. Pulling over at The Oasis for a drink from the fountain I noticed another forgotten water bottle. This one was sitting on the picnic table. What a coindicence! Someone else forgot their bottle too! I couldn't help but laugh and take comfort knowing my bike wasn't the only one on the trail with an empty bottle cage.