Biking Around Clear Lake And The High Trestle Trail In Iowa

It’s been a few years since I had been serious about hopping on a bicycle. A few short years back, I hopped on a bike in Gulf Shores, and that’s where it stopped. Fast forward to this summer and I’m back on a bike!

We purchased a bike rack that hooks to the back of our car, which is working ok.

bicycle rack

The fact that the straps do not stay tight make it so we don’t want to travel too far with this bicycle rack. I see a hitch on one of our vehicles in the foreseeable future for a sturdier bicycle rack. You are probably now asking, “Where did you ride?”

Clear Lake, Iowa is seriously one of the best beach towns in the midwest. The fact that they do have biking lanes marked on the road that goes around the lake, made this a good place to start riding again. I’d highly suggest riding a bike around Clear Lake, as it’s a fun way to explore many areas of the lake. If you park downtown and start biking near the seawall, Clear Lake State Park is easy to bike to.Let’s face it, views like this are pretty darn nice in the midwest.

Seawall Clear Lake Iowa

Our experience was good biking around Clear Lake but the yellow and white arrows were confusing to us, as we were not sure which ones to follow. It turned out, the yellow arrows had been in use for a foot race a couple weeks before. If there was one thing I learned from this, it was to familiarize yourself with the direction of the biking lanes before you ride. My husband and I rode single file, which we believed to be common courtesy in the biking world, but we quickly learned that is not the norm. Several groups of bikers passed us (yes, we were the pokey ones) while riding two-three across. I don’t foresee us becoming “that” experienced in the near future. I will stick to my single file and not speed racing around the lake. Challenge: While biking around the lake, see if you can find this legendary landmark?

Surf Ballroom Clear Lake Iowa

A couple weeks later we ventured to the High Trestle Trail that runs in the Des Moines Area. We found trail parking in a lot in Madrid, across from the Flat Tire Lounge.Tip: If you are biking the trail and looking for a stop along the way, this is a winner! ย The best thing about starting here was the fact that the actual bridge is approximately three miles to the west of here.

High Trestle Trail Bridge

For non-experienced bikers, this is ideal! Not far in, you have a view like this and the ride is relatively on flat terrain.

view on High Trestle Trail

Due to the fact that we had not ridden a bicycle trail in years, there were a few surprises. Again, we rode single file. Thankfully we did, as we were met by people riding three-four wide. There have definitely been some changes in the biking world, in regards to technology. I should have known that music would be playing from several speakers that were hanging from bicycles, as music is a large part of our lives today.

On our way home we stopped into the highly acclaimed Cole’s Ice Cream Shop in Slater, Iowa. We dined on one of their famous tenderloins!

Coles Tenderloin

In fact, it was so good, I will be back.

Hopping on a bicycle again has been fantastic! I’m ready to go explore the Elroy-Sparta Trail again, as that’s where we rode many miles when our boys were younger. I am curious as to how many people we will meet with music playing and how biking will have changed on this trail. As with any sport, there are “insider” rules that the experienced ones seem to know about. Once we get more regular into this, I believe we will have found our spot!




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20 thoughts on “Biking Around Clear Lake And The High Trestle Trail In Iowa

  1. I wouldn’t say the High Trestle is the main trail in central Iowa- it is just to newest. The Raccoon River Valley Trail is much longer- and there are half a dozen other trails that branch from that.
    A trestle is a framework to support a bridge.

  2. Good question, I do not know if trestle is a flower. Now you have me curious. This is the main bicycle trail that runs across this part of Iowa. Each part of the state does have bicycling trails and tours.

  3. Thank you for your kind words. Come to Iowa and we will show you what the midwest is all about, we’d love to see you!

  4. That looks like a beautiful trail for a bike ride. Clear Lake does seem like a great beach town. I’ve never been to Iowa before so I don’t have much of an image of what it looks like beyond picturing farm land. It’s nice to see some of the sights in the Midwest that don’t get a lot of travel blog press.

  5. Cycling around is such a great way to visit places, and i definitely miss doing it … time to get back on my own bike after reading this post!

  6. Seems like you really went on a beautiful, sunny day! The views are absolutely spectacular too. What an awesome place for bike rides. As embarrassing as this sounds… I still can’t bike hahaa. But this definitely motivated me to want to learn how!!

  7. A fellow biker, in sure you had all the fun that biking can offer. Thinking that you did this in Iowa brings back to mind memories of my 4 days stay at Iowa, it was interesting just like your experience.

  8. We’ve got a Thule Venture Trunk Rack (I think Thule Passage is similar) and the straps stay down pretty well. Have gone as far as a 6 hour road trip to Montana without issue. Check it out!

  9. Second to walking, biking is one of the best way to explore destinations at your own pace. Not to mention that it’s a great exercise as well. Add to that an awesome view, what else can go wrong?

  10. We have bikes as a family, but they have spent the last two years hanging in the garage. But this looks so beautiful and stirs up some of that riding urge in me, it really is one of my preferred methods of exercise. It’s just a matter of getting out and doing it! Thanks for the inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I absolutely love biking and wish I could incorporate it more into my travels but my usual travel buddies aren’t very big on it. This has inspired me to look into some bike tours/rentals for my trip to SVG at the end of the month. Thanks!

  12. It’s a great way to explore the countryside. I really enjoy bike riding and would love to ride around this lake.

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