If your not up for biking from Des Moines, there are two easy ways to access the trail from Madrid.
The Johnson Family Trailhead at Dalander Park along Highway 17 is just two and half miles east of the bridge.
Here you can find water, bathrooms and restaurants like the Flat Tire Lounge. There are lots of picnic tables and seating if you want to bring your own food. No playground.
For a shorter trip, the QF Lane Parking lot is only half a mile east of the bridge. Garbage cans are only located at the trailheads.
Don’t be intimidated by the grandeur of it all! While there are plenty of professional bikers utilizing the trail system, there is also room enough for all.
During our trip on a warm late fall Saturday afternoon we saw several large families out for a stroll, grandparents in wheelchairs, parents with strollers, a skate boarder carrying a cooler (I think his girlfriend and he were on a picnic) and everyone in between.
A fun sense of community surrounds the trail system which is reflected in the trail user’s attitudes and behaviors.
Most users are patient with our children and are happy to see families on the trail. We have worked with our kids on keeping to the right and they now think it’s fun to call out “passing on the left” when they want to move around someone.
The park/trail ranger can be reached at 515-230-9093. For emergencies, call 911.
We rode the two and half miles from Dalander Park to the High Trestle Trail Bridge. The trail was smooth, free of debris, and seemed like a short ride. Our girl started to get tired when we were pretty close to the bridge but overall the kids handled the trail great.
Toby got to ride along in his K9 Sports Sack. He loves to go for bike rides and hates to be left at home. We get amused by all the different responses people have when seeing a doggy in a backpack on a bike ride. Most people love it, some think we are crazy.
The ride was beautiful!
I think biking outdoors through Iowa’s beautiful countryside is one of my favorite ways to exercise.
This is a Pinterest Worthy location that is easily accessible to all!
There are special viewing nooks as you go along the bridge. Each nook has informational boards that explain the area’s history, native wildlife and more.
Continue past the bridge to head towards the town of Woodward. We saw some friends on the bridge. They let us know that the trail west of the bridge was not too hilly and their eight-year-old daughter has no trouble biking on it.
We hope your family can hit the trails sometime soon and enjoy!