The High Trestle Trail, which crosses across Boone County, received national recognition on Wednesday.

The High Trestle Trail Steering Committee and partners, including the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the trail and bridge designers Snyder and Associates, Shuck-Britson and RDG Dahlquist Art Studios, were awarded the Trails and the Arts Award for their work on the High Trestle Trail. The award was given at the 21st American Trails’ International Symposium in Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona.

The Trails and the Arts Award recognizes outstanding public art projects, interpretive signs, or other creative structures associated with trail related improvements.

Running through Polk, Story, Boone and Dallas counties and the communities of Ankeny, Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid and Woodward, the High Trestle Trail features a 13-story bridge that contains six observation decks, a scenic overlook, and artistic elements illustrating the history of the former Union Pacific Railroad rail line that the trail now follows. INHF staff led the HTT Steering Committee, which guided the project.

"I think the award celebrates the beauty and attraction of this trail and Iowa’s scenic river valleys," said Lisa Hein, INHF program and planning director. "It recognizes how aesthetics and beauty are really important in our lives. In the case of the High Trestle Trail, the Des Moines River Valley provides the backdrop to a tremendous bridge that provides the exclamation point!"

The High Trestle Trail Steering Committee and its partners raised $15 million for completion of the 25-mile trail, which has been featured in numerous publications. The trail and bridge opened on April 30, 2011, and on average, more than 500 visitors per day ride the trail during the cycling season. The trail has also received the Grand Conceptor Award from American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa, the AIA Iowa Merit Award, Iowa Concrete Pavers Association Award and the Mid America Trails and Greenways Regional Award.

The American Trails’ Awards serve to recognize those across the U.S. who are working to create a national system of trails to meet the recreation, health and travel needs of all Americans. The Trails and Arts Award is a biennial award.