The High Trestle Trail was the main topic of the Boone County Conservation Board meeting March 12.
Many are drawn to the trail, especially the High Trestle Trail Bridge, there’s no doubt about that - but the board had a few interesting inquires about the trail. Ad representatives for Audi have requested to use the trail for a photoshoot for a day with a contribution of around $2,000 to be made to the Boone County Conservation Board Foundation or the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. A representative for the pop music artist MxK also requested the trail for a music video shoot with a contribution of $2,500 also to be made to one of the foundations. The board approved MxK shooting a music video on the trail next week, however the board asked for Boone County Conservation Executive Director Tanner Scheuermann to inquire more into the contribution that can be made from Audi. The trail would need to be closed for a day in April in order for the photoshoot to take place if the board were to move forward with Audi’s request to use the trail.
The High Trestle Trail lights being turned off earlier at night around 10:30 p.m. caused some upset from community members and trail visitors last September. However the lights will begin to stay on longer after the board approved to have the hours the lights are on extended to midnight during summer hours, which is April 1 through Oct. 31. Madrid QF Lane residents Jessie Alt and Wes Mathes were in favor of the approved time for the lights on the trail.
“It’s going to start being lighter longer and you won’t get to enjoy those lights,” Mathes said. “I’m a trail user too, I love to go down through the lights except on weekends.”
The longer conversation of the trail stemmed from the change to the High Trestle Trail regulations in regard to the use of alcohol on the trail, which is Boone County Conservation property.
The regulation reads: “Alcohol prohibited. No person shall consume any type of alcoholic beverage on the High Trestle Trail or High Trestle Trail Bridge.”
“A lot of these regulations are based off of Iowa Code, state law already, a lot of common sense things,” Steve Nugteren, Boone County Conservation Board Park Ranger, said. “Pretty much the only thing that we have added is the section on alcohol … we’re prohibiting consumption, not possession.
“We understand not every jurisdiction has this regulation, bikers often have a cooler with them and they’ll ride from Ankeny to Woodward and back … that’s still legal to do - you just can’t consume them on Boone County (Conservation) property.”
Nugteren and Scheuermann said the regulation will make the trail and bridge a lot more family-friendly and safer, and no one in the audience disagreed. Scheuermann also added that the regulation might limit the amount of littering on the trail as well, which isn’t as big of an issue on the trail according to Mathes. Nugteren said visitors who violate the regulation could face fines that would be determined by a judge, which could amount up to $625, and a required court appearance.
“I support the Boone County Conservation’s desire to great this regulation,” Danielle Wirth of rural Madrid said. “You will not get rid of drinking, but you will have much more responsible, more secretive drinking and people will be less likely to be rowdy and abusive.
“I think it’s a good move.”
Nugteren expressed that he hasn’t responded to any accidents that specifically involve alcohol, however Woodward resident Rich Rogers recalled an encounter he had with intoxicated individuals on the trail.
“I have been hit by a drunk before on the trail by the Dallas, Boone County line,” Rogers, who is a frequent user of the trail, said. “The good news is these guys ended up … (getting) public intox - Boone County Sheriff’s Office, they do a good job of patrolling the bridge.
“My bike sustained damage and I found out later when I got home that he threw up on me, I didn’t know it at the time.”
Scheuermann recognized that not all of the beer cans come from cyclists using the trail.
“Most bikers do not litter,” Frequent trail user Steve McIntyre of Indianola said. “Most bikers, in general, pick up after themselves … a lot of people put bags on their bikes and they crush the cans and take them with them.
“I’ve never seen anyone throw something off the bridge, because again, I would have said something - I know my buddies would too.”
Marilyn Jordan, board vice chair, said the bridge has to be respected in regard to the regulations.
“If you want to enjoy the bridge, you have to respect the bridge,” Jordan said.
The board approved the regulations as presented after hearing comments from the public.