biking in iowa: high trestle trail and bridge ride at sunset

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

A must-do when it comes to biking in Iowa is the High Trestle Trail and Bridge in the central part of the state. This paved 25 mile-long trail connects several counties and runs along the Des Moines river, offering stunning views and easy bike riding away from traffic and the noise of cities. The trail is smooth, in great condition, clean, peaceful, and through beautiful nature.

The bridge is not only a stunning 13 stories high and half a mile long but also a concenptual work of art. At night, the whole thing is illuminated with blue LED lights, making you feel like you’re biking through some sort of futuristic tunnel into darkness. Very cool and definitely worth seeing!

We’ve visited the bridge and trail by day but we recently had the chance to experience the night-time version and that definitely lived up to expectations. Biking with a one-year-old means that romantic night-time bike rides are somewhat out of the question but since we really wanted to see the bridge lit up, we planned to hit the trail at 7pm, ride through sunset, and leave the bridge right at 8pm when the full moon was said to appear and the bridge lights were to come on.

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

When we started our ride, it was still light out and the sun was just beginning to set.

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

The views from the High Trestle Trail Bridge of the Des Moines River Valley are beautiful.

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

We made it to the bridge a little before 8pm and waited for the sun to set while overlooking the River Valley and chatting with other cyclists. As the sun went down and the bridge took on its eery blue glow, we made our way back over it and unto the trail.

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

High Trestle Trail Ride in Iowa

We saw plenty of other cyclists on the trail and bridge but also walkers, runners, roller skaters, and four legged visitors :) There are several accesss points to the trail where you can park your car and get on your bike. You can stick to the trail or use it as a way to visit the various towns connected by it, hopping off for a bite to eat or some sight-seeing.  The trail is perfect for biking with kids because it’s removed from cars, smooth and flat. Even the littlest of cyclists can use this as a practice run for trickier and hillier rides. Happy cycling!

More stunning bridge photography and information here.

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Baby, Bike Dates, Biking with Kids, Family, Family Bike Dates, Travel with Kids and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to biking in iowa: high trestle trail and bridge ride at sunset

  1. Christina says:

    What a wonderful looking trail! I would imagine it would be nice for running to? I love the family pic, baby looks adorable :)

  2. Rebecca says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never been there. It looks beautiful! I’ll have to make it happen sometime.

  3. How funny that Schwinn just posted this picture on their Facebook page and I see you talking about the exact same bridge as I catch up on my blog reading! I would also love to see it at nighttime, thank you much for that link to it and your lovely pictures (I especially like the blurry one! I’m serious)

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