We recommend the High Trestle Trail! The main attraction of the Trail is just two miles from Madrid: the half-mile long, 13-story High Trestle Trail Bridge over the Des Moines River valley. Whether you live in Central Iowa or are visiting, seeing the Bridge is an exhilarating experience that you won’t forget! The bridge is in Boone County, between Madrid and Woodward, Iowa, less than 30 minutes by car from Des Moines or Ames.
The High Trestle Trail Bridge has lights that are turned on from dusk ’til 9 p.m. through the winter and from dusk to midnight during the spring-summer-fall biking season. Although we do not have evening rentals, we encourage people to hike out to the bridge at night (and do not forget your flashlights for safety, it is very dark on the trail).
High Trestle Trail Facts
The entire trail is 25 miles long end to end and connects the towns of Ankeny, Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid, and Woodward. A map can be found here. The High Trestle Trail Bridge is one of the most spectacular trail bridges in the world!
Distances from Madrid
Madrid to bridge overlook (west side) round trip: 5 miles
Madrid to Woodward round trip: 10 miles
Madrid to Slater round trip: 16 miles
Madrid to Oasis rest area round trip: 26 miles
Madrid to Ankeny round trip: 40 miles
Distance from QF Lane Parking
QF Lane (Grant’s Woods) parking area to bridge (east side) round trip: 1.2 miles (popular for walkers and wheelchair users)
QF Lane (Grant’s Woods) parking area to bridge overlook (west side) round trip: 2.25 miles (popular for walkers)