The famous Clint Eastwood movie, “The Bridges of Madison County,” first brought to light the absolutely beautiful bridges that Iowa has to offer. Next time you don’t have plans on a sunny, spring Saturday, take a driving tour and see these beautiful covered bridges in Iowa:
1. Hogback Bridge
Built in 1884 by Benton Jones, Hogback is one of the 19 original Bridges of Madison County, and is one of only six remaining today. Hogback gets its name from the limestone ridge which forms the west end of the valley. Hogback Bridge still sits in its original location in a valley north of Winterset, and in 1992, the bridge was renovated at a cost of $118,810.
2. Roseman Bridge
One of the original bridges of Madison County, this beauty is located just outside Winterset. It's shown during the movie, "Bridges of Madison County," when Robert (Clint Eastwood) is looking for this bridge, and he meets Francesca (Meryl Streep). It's also shown later in the film when the ashes are scattered at the bridge. Roseman Bridge is also known as the “haunted bridge.” The legend goes that two sheriff’s posses trapped a county jail escapee in the bridge in1892. It is rumored that the man rose up straight through the roof of the bridge, uttered a wild cry and disappeared. He was never found.
3. Cedar Bridge
Built in 1883 by Benton Jones, Cedar Bridge is currently the only bridge open to vehicles. It was built over Cedar Creek north of Winterset on what is now U.S. Highway 169., and it was moved to its present location over the same creek in 1921. In "The Bridges of Madison County," Cedar Bridge is where Francesca goes to meet Robert to help him take photographs. In 1998, the bridge was renovated at a cost of $128,073, but in 2002, Cedar Bridge was destroyed by an arsonist. In 2004, a replica of the original bridge was built from the original plans using authentic materials and methods.
4. Holliwell Bridge
Built in 1880 by Benton Jones, Holliwell is the longest of the covered bridges, measuring 122 feet in length. It remains in its original site over the Middle River southeast of Winterset, and in 1995, Holliwell was renovated at a cost of $225,000. It is also featured in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County.”
5. Cutler-Donahoe Bridge
When it was first built in 1870 by Eli Cox, the Cutler-Donahoe Bridge was located over the North River near Bevington. It was moved to its present site in the Winterset City Park in 1970. In 1997, Cutler-Donahoe was renovated at a cost of $35,538.
6. Imes Bridge
The oldest of the remaining covered bridges, Imes Bridge was built in 1870. It was originally located over the Middle River west of Patterson, but in 1887, it was moved to a spot over Clanton Creek southwest of Hanley. Imes Bridge was moved again to its present site over a natural ravine just east of St. Charles in 1977. In 1997, it was renovated at a cost of $31,807.