You might encounter a fork in the road (or two) while on a road trip. But what about a tree? One mile west of Audubon, Iowa you’ll find the famous Tree in the Middle of the Road.
As the name would suggest, this local landmark is little more than a tree in the center of two rural roads. This one small sapling is quite sizable now and makes for a fun photo op if you’re in the area.
For decades, the origins of the Tree in the Middle of the Road has been the source of local legend. Apparently, in the 1840s brothers John and Umphrey Parker were surveying the land to mark the line between counties. As Umphrey went along, he cut a cottonwood sprout to use as a walking stick. But when it came time to mark the county line, the men didn’t have anything to use. So, they sharpened the end of the sprout and used that as a marker.
Over time, the sprout took root and grew into the massive tree that still stands today.
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Plan Your Visit to the Tree in the Middle of the Road
You’ll find this famous tree at the junction of two Level B roads. That means that these rural routes are unpaved and minimally maintained.
Pro Tip: During the winter, these rural roads may not be plowed and after heavy rain they can be quite muddy, so tread carefully.
Tree in the Middle of the Road, 2401-2449 350th Street in Brayton, Iowa
Frequently Asked Questions About the Tree in the Middle of the Road
Where is the tree in the middle of the road?
The tree is located at the intersection of 350th and 710th Streets. After you exit the Interstate 80, follow the green “Tree in the Road” signs to your destination. The Google Maps address of the Tree in the Middle of the Road is 2401-2449 350th St, Brayton, IA 50042.
How old is the tree in the middle of the road in Iowa?
Local lore goes that the tree in the middle of the road dates back as early as the 1840s.
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I would love to hear from you! Do you get off the highway to see roadside attractions? Have you stopped at the tree in the middle of the road near Brayton, Iowa?