Winterset, located southwest of Des Moines
and just off Hwy 169, was best known as the birthplace of John Wayne and today is recognized by romantics everywhere as the setting for the movie Bridges of Madison County
. Even before they were made famous by novelist Robert Waller, and then Hollywood, these six historic area bridges were listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and are scattered around the surrounding countryside. The Middle River and Badger Creek State Recreation Area are nearby.