Adding a weekend trail ride in Iowa

November 14, 2012

So on top of my already-busy planned bicycle schedule for 2013 (dipping my feet into RUSA rides, riding the full GAP/C&O Trail from Pittsburgh to DC, riding RAGBRAI, possibly riding Crater Lake, reprising our October ride of the Katy) I’ve found what appears to be another beautiful weekend-warrior ride which I hope to do.

Raccoon River Valley Trail (henceforth, RRVT) in Iowa is one of the longer paved bicycle trails in the US, at 56 miles.  Doing some reading & research, it seems like a beautiful, enjoyable bike ride, whose beginning is just over three hours from where I live.  What I have in mind right now after a little research is to drive there on a Saturday morning, ride the High Trestle Bridge Trail, which is a 25-mile trail which ends roughly 9 miles from the RRVT; bike the 9 road miles between the two trails and connect with the RRVT; ride that to the end, stay overnight there and retrace the route on Sunday.  Each day would therefore offer roughly 90 miles of cycling, with almost all of it on flat, paved, beautiful trail. The High Trestle Bridge looks spectacular and would be an excellent post-sunset end of ride destination.

While reading about this cool ride has got my appetite whetted to go there right away, this will probably be a weekend adventure for sometime in April or May timeframe – an excellent “appetizer” for the GAP/C&O ride.  Also, at this writing, it isn’t clear to me whether the High Trestle Bridge is lighted year-round or only certain months – and if so, when.  This is an important aspect to the timing of the plan.

So, for the next few months, it’s unlikely I’ll be talking much on the blog about this ride, but it’ll be in my thoughts 🙂  I’ll plan to do it sometime early next riding season.

(Below is the High Trestle Bridge at night, courtesy


3 Responses to “Adding a weekend trail ride in Iowa”

  1. Randy said

    We did the High Trestle earlier this year. A great trail and the trestle itself awesome.
    Didn’t realize it was so close to another trail.

  2. Nice, man, beautiful! Yes, I find myself really looking forward to this ride. Starting at this trail (in the daylight), going roughly 90 miles to the end of the RRVT, staying overnight there, then the next day biking back and seeing this bridge at night toward the end of the ride is going to be pretty awesome.

  3. Ron said

    If you get really ambitious, there is a RUSA permanent of 218km that includes about 35-40 miles of the RRVT and about 10-12 miles on the High Trestle (including the ride over the bridge). Long ride, but awesome. I had a chance to ride it in September. Its on the RUSA permanents data base and is called (not surprisingly) Tour de Trails.

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