Watson Mill Bridge State Park
One of the most picturesque state parks in Georgia, Watson Mill Bridge contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Built in 1885 by Washington (W.W.) King, son of freed slave and famous covered-bridge builder Horace King, the bridge is supported by a town lattice truss system held firmly together with wooden pins. At one time, Georgia had more than 200 covered bridges; today, less than 20 remain.
The park is an ideal spot for an afternoon picnic or overnight stay in the quiet campground. Hiking, biking and horseback riding trails allow visitors to enjoy the thick forest and river. During summer, visitors often play in the cool river shoals just below the bridge. Watson Mill Bridge has become a popular destination for horse owners who have their own camping area near stalls.
The bridge is Georgia’s longest covered bridge and was built in 1885 by the son of a freed slave. It is remarkable to see that a bridge built so long ago using wooden pins still holds up under the modern day vehicles that drive over it. The park boasts of several miles worth of trails. After walking across the bridge and exploring the river’s banks for a while, I let my son go down and swim. We didn’t have our river shoes so we had to be extra careful on the slippery rocks.
Watson Mill Bridge is 30 minutes from Athens. This is a nice park with camping, trails, canoe and paddle boat rentals along with many picnic areas and playground. The covered bridge is very scenic with a small waterfall spilling into shallow water. This is a popular spot during the summer for water activities. There is a $5 fee for using the park.
I thought it was a cool experience just to drive across the covered wooden bridge. I enjoyed photographing the water/falls. The 2.5 mi fitness trail was well shaded and quiet, but it didn't make for an interesting sight-seeing walk. The park also has several pavilions and picnic tables, a playground, volleyball net, and grills. There is some neat taxidermy in the visitor's center/gift shop that's worth a view.
Beautiful destination. Great hiking and horseback riding at certain times. The water is fun for the children and it's a great place to picnic
I came here for a birthday camping trip. We stayed in one of the pioneer sites. It was beautiful. Right by the creek. Wonderful site and it was quiet. One of the only parks that let you do a single day rental which was nice. The bridge was amazing.