Known as 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 an overnight stay at the campground. Hiking, biking and horseback riding trails allow visitors to enjoy the thick forest along the river or travel into the parks backcountry. During summer, visitors often play in the cool river shoals just below the bridge.
Steven T. on Watson Mill Bridge State Park Loop
Rode the shorter trails didn't really care for them. Drove up to Payne's Creek had a blast.
Went here Easter Day. Took my oldest son and dog. We parked in the parking lot where the Beaver dam loop head starts. That particular trail was 1 1/2 miles and not very interesting. Looped back and took the other trail towards the bridge and it was short. Bridge is neat, waterfall is beautiful and the rock shoals are picturesque. There is a trail straight off the bridge near the pavilions that follows the river half the way. Beautiful place. That trail is 2 1/2 miles. Then if you go over the bridge to the other side, there are a couple more trails. The hikers only trail doesn't seem much of anything. Starts out on a boardwalk type thing that looks over the water. KEEP GOING! There are really no markers on any of the trails, but for this one, just walk where you clearly see people have been through there. It's very narrow and pretty thick brush. You can go down on sand banks and play in the water where the rapids are not rushing. It's secluded and beautiful!! We did a total of 8 miles scaling the banks and climbing on river boulders and exploring. Definitely going back here.
This park is very much off the beaten path, so it's not too crowded. The covered bridge was beautiful to look at up close and we could see lots of kids (and adults) swimming in the falls below. The trails are fairly easy but not well marked. We got turned around a time or two but weren't too concerned about it since we were enjoying the hike. Getting a map at the ranger station might be helpful, though.