I recently took a hike to the High Trestle Bridge on the High Trestle Trail near Madrid, Iowa, and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. The bridge’s architecture is unique and eye-catching and the views from it are stunning. The beautiful panoramic landscape of the Des Moines River Valley to the south are well worth the walk (or bike, if you prefer). The weather was beautiful the day I was there and I managed to catch it at a relatively quite moment, allowing plenty of time to play with angels and composition.
The bridge, a converted rail corridor, sits atop 22 piers that were part of the original railroad system. The bridge is 13 stories tall, sitting 130 feet over the river channel, and is one of the largest trail bridges in the world. The artwork, consisting of the towers at either end and the cribbing that runs over the bridge, pays homage to the areas coal mining industry. “Seams” of coal are weaved into the towers and the 43 pieces of cribbing emulates the viewers movement though a mine tunnel. At night, the cribbing is lit with blue lights that mark the location of the main river channel.