Duke, Clint, and Meryl
This route was scouted by: Bob Morgan, Biking Iowa
Length: 37 Miles
Surface: Paved Roads
Parking and Restrooms: Winterset City Park
Big names stud Winterset’s story. Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep starred in The Bridges of Madison County (based on book by same title), filmed in this area. Better yet, John Wayne was born in Winterset in the house where the ride starts.
This route is a favorite for the Madison County Cycle Club. Head south from town on John Wayne Drive, bear left on Summit Street and continue on P71.
At 6.5 miles, turn east on Peru Road/CR G68. There’s a 7 percent downhill grade as you go into East Peru (pronounced “Pee-roo”). The Delicious apple, a variety named in 1872, stems from an apple tree that’s still growing near there. The terrain has definite ups and downs as you bike through Truro, then turn north on County Road R35. Enjoy the flat stretch to St. Charles before heading west back to Winterset on G50.
Side trip: Check out the Northside Cafe on the courthouse square in Winterset. Clint Eastwood sat on the fourth stool from the front in the scene in the movie.
Not to miss: Quilters in your group should head for Love of Quilts, the home shop of public television quilting authorities Marianne Fons and Liz Porter. The popularity of their show and magazine brings busloads of visitors in Winterset.
Bob Morgan, a freelance writer from Cedar Falls, is author of Biking Iowa, which includes 50 well-documented rides throughout the state. He’s active in the Cedar Trails Partnership and leads evening bike rides during Bike Month.