• Linh Ta
  • Sun May 29 2016
  • Posted May 29, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Spend a weekend under the blue arches of the High Trestle Trail bridge and you’ll find riders from across Iowa enjoying the picturesque views from 13 stories above the Des Moines River valley.

Since opening in 2011, the 25-mile stretch from Ankeny to Woodward has become a bicycle-tourism mecca, sprouting cottage industries that cater to cyclists, The Des Moines Register ( ) reported. Oases like the Nite Hawk Bar & Grill in Slater and the Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid pack in thousands of riders on busy summer weekends.

“In Iowa, biking is very social. We stop and get a drink or two,” said Dan Heiderscheit, owner of Firetrucker Brewery in Ankeny. “It’s helping some of us small businesses get a foothold and grow because (riders) tend to support local businesses a lot more.”

Heiderscheit opened the brewery in 2014 in part because of its location near the town’s trail

“The Ankeny Market Pavilion really opens up a new opportunity for the city to attract larger, bike-related events, and we’re already seeing that with the commitment of some larger regional rides,” said Derek Lord, economic development director.

The High Trestle Trail is the most popular bike trail in Iowa, according to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. It averages more than 40,000 riders a month during the summer at the bridge.


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