Watson Mill Bridge is one of my favorite places for a Sunday afternoon drive. It’s also one of the most picturesque parks in Georgia. This time I headed to the bridge during the middle of the week. I had a new wide angle lens and knew this would be the perfect place to explore with it. Other photographers were there with their cameras and tripods.
The state park is the perfect place for a serious picnic and also for a two mile hike though this time, I stayed on the upper trails and enjoyed them with Chip. The entire area is beautiful and a great destination for families or friends looking for a safe place to relax. So, how did Watson Mill Bridge come to be a wonderful place to visit?
In 1885, Washington King (a black man) was awarded the contract to build Watson Mill Bridge. The resulting 228-foot long span was called a “kissing bridge” because its covered length allowed sweethearts time for a bit of romance in the crossing. Watson Mill is the longest remaining covered bridge in Georgia and one of the longest in the US.
It is punctuated with large windows on the side that let in light and create a draft that keeps the interior dry. Washington King, one of the most well-known covered bridge builders in the country, improved the plans for the bridge by requiring that the exterior weatherboarding be planed to allow for the better shedding of water. In the end, King was lauded by the county’s engineers for going above contractual duty in providing these and other improvements.
With more that 1,000 acres of land, Watson Mill Bridge State Park is a large state park. Within its borders are camping, picnicking and picnic shelters, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and trails for biking enthusiasts. There is a separate developed area for horseback riders that includes stables, 12 miles of riding trails and a camping area for riders.
Allow plenty of time for shooting more pictures than you think. The bridge is especially beautiful at sunset, when the brilliant reds and oranges enrich the natural color of the wood. Beneath the bridge are a series of shoals that provide endless summer entertainment. On the pond side is where people would swim. Today, this area is a favorite for simple kayak rentals.
Here’s Chip looking forward to a new day in 2021!
More of Chip and Pat before the coming of the new puppy.
Love the views in this park! They are endless and we even walked beside the old mill race to where the old hydro plant was located.