Visit & Explore Madison County, Iowa
As American as apple pie, Madison County was the birthplace of the Delicious apple and an American icon, legendary actor John Wayne.
The county was organized in 1846, and is named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Its picturesque terrain features an abundance of rivers and creeks, and great expanses of fertile farmland.
Originally boasting 19 covered bridges, six of the Covered Bridges of Madison County remain today – with five of the six bridges being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But there’s so much more to Madison County – come visit The Birthplace of John Wayne, Madison County Courthouse, Monumental Park, North River Stone Schoolhouse, Winterset Art Center, Bevinton-Kaser House and Historical Complex, and Clark Tower.
Midwest quilters call Madison County their Mecca as it's home to two of the world's best known quilters, Marianne Fons and Liz Porter, whose company, Fons & Porter Love of Quilting, is based in Winterset. There's a second quilt store, an old-fashioned Ben Franklin, just down the block.
With annual events like the Annual Lions Show, Bike Ride Around Madison County, National Skillet Throw, Truro Town & Country Days, Freedom Fest, Madison County Fair, Old Settlers Celebration, Summerfest, Apple Days Festival, Covered Bridge Festival, Festival of Lights and the City Park Light Display, there’s always something fun, interesting and unique to see and do in Madison County.
In addition to these great annual events, there are awe inspiring places to explore like the Winterset City Park where you can find your way through an English Hedge Maze or take a pleasant walk across the Stone Foot Bridge; drive or hike up to Clark Tower for a breathtaking view of the Middle River valley; take a beautiful drive in Pammel State Park and through the Harmon Tunnel, the only highway tunnel in Iowa; hike the Backbone and Lodge Trails; drive across the Middle River Ford or stop and take time to fish.
CLICK HERE for information on Bridge Tours & to view a map of the bridges.
"Just stopped in Winterset to visit 'John Wayne' home and gift shop. Loved
the area, downtown,since it was Saturday morning the farmer market and/or
flee market was going on. Just love that type of town living."
G.C., Woodlawn, TN
Picture courtesy of A. Martin
"We enjoyed our day in Winterset on the 20th of July. We enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and visited the history museum, John Wayne home, and the covered bridges of the county. Your chamber representative was very helpful too. Thanks!" A.Martin