The Enchanting County In Iowa That's Home To 6 Covered Bridges
When the 1992 novella
Bridges of Madison County was turned into a film, this little county in the Hawkeye State was suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Madison County was famous within the state for its storied Iowa covered bridges. There were originally 19 of these old-fashioned beauties in the area, but only six remain. Each one has a story of its own, and every Iowan should visit these gorgeous covered bridges in Iowa at least once in their lives.
1. The Imes Bridge is the oldest of them all!
Covered Bridge Park, 500 E Main St, St Charles, IA 50240, USA
over the Middle River was built in 1870, making it the oldest of the Bridges of Madison County. It was moved to Clinton Creek in 1887, and finally moved to where it now stands in 1977, for preservation. This 81-foot-long bridge was renovated in 1997 and is one of the prettiest ones standing.
Learn about the history of the Imes Bridge:
2. The Cedar Covered Bridge Has A Tragic History.
1874 Nature Ct, Winterset, IA 50273, USA
was built in 1883 and moved in 1921. In 2002, the famous bridge (which had been featured in the movie) was burned down by arsonists. It took two years for the bridge to be rebuilt. In 2017, arsonists struck and burned the bridge down to its foundation. It was rebuilt and once again reopened to the public in 2019.
Take a winter drive through the Cedar Covered Bridge:
3. The Cutler-Donahoe Bridge is a friendly welcome to Winterset!
300 S 9th St, Winterset, IA 50273, USA
was originally built in 1870 to cross the North River. As it fell out of use, the City of Winterset claimed it and moved it to the entrance of Winterset City Park in 1979.
4. The Hogback Covered Bridge is an Iowa countryside classic.
1879 Hogback Bridge Rd, Winterset, IA 50273, USA
is one of the few Bridges of Madison County that wasn't built by Eli Cox. In 1884, Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster put this one together over the North River. It's one of the most impressive and unique bridges still standing. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and renovated in 1992.
Take a look inside the Hogback Covered Bridge:
5. The Holliwell Covered Bridge is a tribute to times gone by.
Holliwell Bridge Road, Holliwell Bridge Rd, Iowa 50273, USA
In 1880, Benton Jones designed
to cross the Middle River. It was featured in the movie Bridges of Madison County, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In 1995, the bridge underwent a major renovation that cost over $225,000.
6. The Roseman Covered Bridge is more than just a storied centerpiece.
Roseman Covered Bridge, Elderberry Avenue, Winterset, IA, USA
is the most famous of the Bridges of Madison County, and it played a major role in the novel and film! It was built in 1883, crosses the Middle River, and was renovated in 1992.
It's on the National Register of Historic Places and holds a special place in the heart of Madison County residents.
Which of the Bridges of Madison County is your favorite? Personally, the unique style of the Hogback makes it my pick.
If you want to enjoy the best of Madison County life and culture, make plans to
take a road trip to visit the Covered Bridges Festival this October!
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Things To See And Do In Iowa
What are the most underrated attractions in Iowa?
The most underrated attractions in Iowa include:
Waubonsie State Park. This is a place out of a Thomas Kinkaid painting when you stop here to view the gorgeous sunsets.
Pappajohn Scuplture Park. The various whimsical and creative art installations here are a joy to behold and photograph.
Fenelon Place Elevator. This funicular ride is the steepest and shortest scenic railway on the planet and has amazing views.
Effigy Mounds National Monument. There are over 200 Native American burial mounds here with trails that allow you views from all angles.
Discover more about the most underrated attractions in Iowa .
What are the best farmers markets in Iowa?
The best farmers markets in Iowa include:
Iowa City Farmers Market. Locals gather here for locally-made items and for a bit of entertainment with a community feel.
Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market. This is a massive open-air market that receives about 14,000 patrons every time it opens.
North Grand Farmers Market. You’ll find the best homemade preserves, honey, baked goods, and so much more at this wonderful market.
Cedar Falls Farmers Market. This is a smaller market with fresh, quality produce and friendly people.
Discover more about the best farmers markets in Iowa.
What are the best candy shops in Iowa?
The best candy shops in Iowa include:
Goodies Handmade Candies. This family-run candy shop in Spirit Lake uses only fresh ingredients with no preservatives.
Chocolate Storybook. Located in West Des Moines, this shop uses no additives and only uses fresh cream and butter, real chocolate, and fresh fruits.
The Chocolate Haus. This is the place for German chocolate that’s made with a 100-year-old recipe.
Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe. Palmer’s makes old-fashioned candies using traditional methods.
Find out more about the best candy shops in Iowa.