Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bicycling the Sauk Rail & High Trestle Trail

(Jan)  001Last week Chuck and I thoroughly enjoyed two very nice bike trails. The Sauk Rail Trail runs between Swan Lake State Park near Carroll, Iowa and culminates in Lake View at Black Hawk Lake. We’ve ridden the entire trail in sections at different times. Last weeks runs were mostly on the Carroll to Maple River section and one on the beautiful 18 mile ride from Maple River to Breda and back. This part of the Trail goes through some nice farm fields, past the Hazelwood Brush area, across several streams and through the power generating field of tall wind turbines south of Breda.009

008On Friday our friends Ron & Edna joined us riding the High Trestle Trail over the Des Moines River Valley. We biked the section of the trail between Woodward and Slater, Iowa and back.  The rail line, formerly owned by Union Pacific RR, was abandoned for rail service in 2003. The current cement pillared bridge built in 1970, replaced a trestle bridge built in 1912. Revamped as a awesome trail for walking and biking, “the 13-story (40-meter) high and nearly half-mile (770-meter) long trestle bridge provides scenic views of the Des Moines River Valley and is located near mining shafts that were 026worked by Italian immigrant families and others who settled nearby. The bridge decking incorporates a decorative structure that represents the view through a mine shaft,and its design includes decorative lighting that remains on until midnight.” Our016 Friday daytime adventure was ridden under clear blue skies and mild temps. We took lots of time viewing the bridge and exploring the river valley as we crossed. The river is at a very low level because of this year’s drought in the Midwest. However, during many years Saylorville Reservoir’s waters swell the level under the bridge. We pedaled on through Madrid and into Slater where we stopped at the Nite Hawk Bar and Grill for drinks and a burger. With a little wind at our back, the mostly down hill ride back to Woodward was great!  Good friends, pleasant weather, good food and an amazing trail; what could be better?

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