The Covered Bridges Scenic Byway offers visitors a journey into iconic America. Dotting the classic Iowa landscape are the famed covered bridges of Madison County, immortalized in the novel, movie and musical, The Bridges of Madison County. At the county’s center is an authentic and thriving historic town square. Tour the birthplace of legendary actor John Wayne and the only museum in the world dedicated to The Duke. Or explore the Iowa Quilt Museum and quilt shops in the town where Fons & Porter’s Love of Quiltingwas created. Madison County was once home to George Stout, who rescued precious artworks during World War II, and it served as a starting place for famed horticulturist George Washington Carver. Experience life on the plains, and enjoy the abundant natural resources which made Madison County so desirable for settlers, at the Madison County Historical Complex or at one of the county’s many recreational parks.
The 82-mile-plus route focuses on the iconic and widely-known covered bridges located throughout Madison County, as well as our scenic natural areas, historical sites, cultural sites, and many other unique destinations. Highlights include:
- The covered bridges
- John Wayne Birthplace & Museum
- Iowa Quilt Museum/Quilting
- Madison County Courthouse & Historic District
- Madison County Historical Complex
- Historical figures – George Washington Carver, George Stout, etc.
- Pammel State Park and Middle River Water Trail
- Three wineries and a cidery
- Bison ranch