High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail Bridge near Madrid

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 google map.

High Trestle Trail Bridge at nightLights

The High Trestle Trail Bridge lights have winter and summer hours. The bridge lights are on from sunset to midnight during the months of approximately April 1 – October 31. During the winter months of approximately November 1 – March 31, the lights are on from sunset to 9:00 p.m.


Click here for a map of available parking. 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 on the trail for some fresh air and fun. The High Trestle Trail Bridge is west of Madrid. 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 the parking lot).  Other dining options are in Madrid.

Parking is also available along QF Lane, which is the closest place to park to access the bridge. To find QF, drive on 210 west of Madrid, and watch for a trail access sign. Click here for a map.

Click here for Madrid’s complete business directory.

General Information

High Trestle Trail Bridge morning

Over 25 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 ½ 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.