The Bridges of Madison County


I’d been wanting to take a short vacation for a few months now.  With little time in our lives, it seemed only fitting to jump out the back door for a quick trip.  Iowa has so many places to visit for weekend excursions but we just haven’t taken much time to explore our enchanting state.  Last Sunday, well, I just wanted to get out so Lennie made the suggestion to drive over to the bridges of Madison County.

No hurry this day.  Instead of the interstate, we decided to take highway 92.  My mind was strictly on just following my eye along the rolling green hills lush with timber and crop.  The fall colors were just popping out with hints of gold, orange, and burgundy.  The temperature was in the mild 70’s.

We arrived in Winterset (the county seat) and picked up a free map of the area for our tour.  There is a rich history that is very present in Madison County.  A total of 6 covered bridges built during the 1800’s.  Even if you enjoy history, it is easy to envision riding a horse-drawn buggy through the bridges on your way home from town.

Pictures of our trip in the order we drove:

Holliwell Bridge built in 1880

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Cutler-Donahoe Bridge built in 1870

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Roseman Bridge built in 1883

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Hogback Bridge built in 1884

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Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit Cedar Bridge (We understand it was set on fire in early 2017 by vandals) nor did we see Imes Bridge, which is near St. Charles on G50 off of I-35.

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Winterset is also the birthplace of John Wayne.  A must stop is the museum in his honor.  It houses a theatre with biography film and a gift shop.  You can purchase tickets to tour his childhood home just around the corner for the museum.  Even if you are not a fan of this famous actor, it is still worth learning the history.  For more information, johnwaynebirthplace.museum.

We really enjoyed the architecture of “Clock Tower” in their city park, the engineering of the bridges and the well-kept town square with the beautiful courthouse.

We did learn the annual  “Madison County Covered Bridge Festival” is every October.  Please visit www.madisoncounty.com if you are interested in a full description of activities and accommodations.

It has been too long since we had a day to take our time and be able to really enjoy what was in front of us. We were glad to visit Madison County at a time that we could take pictures without distraction.  We learned a bit of history we knew was there but never had time for.  A must trip for all!

Until next time!

Did you know?  People from all over the country visit Madison County each year.  We saw license plates from Arizona, California, Colorado and New Jersey.

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