The swinging bridges in Iowa are one of our state’s biggest hidden treasures. These old-fashioned spans may feel rickety and dizzying at first, but they’re well-maintained prides of their towns and provide some of the best views in the state. Some of them even have a surprising history behind them. On this one-day road trip, you’ll see three of the state’s most storied bridges in a drive that takes you from the north to the state’s eastern border.

Have you visited Iowa’s famous swinging bridges yet? Let us know where and when to get the absolute best views in the comments section — we would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in making the trip, make sure to visit the town websites for Estherville and Columbus Junction to learn more. A stay at the famous Swinging Bridge Cottage can be booked on their Airbnb listing.

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bridges in Iowa

What are the most unique bridges in Iowa?

If you're fascinated by Iowa's swinging bridges, you'll likely also want to explore all the other kinds of bridges hiding within the state. Check out our list of other unique bridges in Iowa to explore:

  • Roseman Covered Bridge
  • Imes Covered Bridge
  • High Trestle Trail
  • Kate Shelley High Bridge
  • Black Hawk Bridge
  • Centennial Bridge
  • Culter-Donahoe Covered Bridge
  • Holliwell Covered Bridge
  • Sutliff Bridge
  • Cedar Covered Bridge
  • Hogback Covered Bridge
  • Davenport Skybridge
  • Boone Bridge Two


Does Iowa have any haunted bridges?

Iowa is home to countless scenic and historic bridges, and some of them are also considered to be haunted. One prime example is called the Barnwell Bridge near Fort Dodge. Its history is a bit murky; no one knows when exactly it was built, and some claim that the original structure was torn down and rebuilt. This one-lane bridge that spans Union Pacific Railroad tracks has borne witness to many violent crimes and deaths. It's believed that the bridge is also a hotbed of paranormal activity. Locals claim that if you're driving over the bridge at night, a female ghost will grab you and try to send you over the bridge. Learn more about one of the most haunted places in Iowa...if you dare!

What is the longest bridge in Iowa?

The title of the longest bridge in Iowa belongs to the Julien Dubuque Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River between Dubuque and East Dubuque. It's a gorgeous, historic bridge that was built during WWII and seen as a strategic way to carry transportation of goods across the U.S. Learn more about visiting the longest bridge in Iowa -- it's a real adventure!

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