Ankeny Plans Improvements for High Trestle Trail

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ANKENY, Iowa -- The City of Ankeny is working to get public input from citizens regarding the High Trestle Trail. This is for features along the trail as it runs four miles through the city.

The city has done surveys and talked to some groups. This week they are holding a public input session for cyclists, to get their ideas of new amenities that could be along the trail.

"What we're doing now is looking at amenities along the trail, " said Derek Lord, Economic Development Director for the City of Ankeny. " Seeking any unique experience for trail users, as well as non-users.

The city has four major points along the trail where it's working to make improvements. It has already built the Ankeny Market Pavillion, site of the local Farmer's Market, the underpass for the High Trestle Trail under Ankeny Blvd., and an overpass is planned for the High Trestle over Oralabor. The community is looking for one more destination-type attraction to put along the trail.

"There’s no preconceived notion’s of what it could be," said Lord. "I think the one thing that we’ve heard so far is something that people can experience, it needs to be something that people can get off the bike enjoy walk-through touch feel experience."

The city has taken surveys and met with various groups. One meeting was planned with bikers who use the trail on a regular basis.

"What we learned in our study last year was about 15% of the people that we surveyed along the trail we’re not from the Ames Des Moines Metro area," said Lord. "Ten percent of the people we surveyed stayed in a hotel overnight and their primary reason for being here was the High Trestle Trail."

The city is also planning to add an additional trailhead parking area along the High Trestle Trail in the northwestern part of Ankeny.

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