Watson Mill Bridge State Park is named after the longest covered bridge in the state of Georgia, the Watson Mill Bridge. This 229-foot bridge is over 100 years old and is one of the few bridges still standing that was built in the 1800s. The bridge was designed and constructed by WW King, an architect and the son of a former slave. The park itself was not built until the early-1970s and opened its gates in 1973. Today, the park serves as a historical landmark and a wonderful place to sit and take in the beautiful view of nature.
Each year thousands of visitors visit in early spring and fall to capture some of the most beautiful pictures in the surrounding area. The park is open year-round and provides plenty of activities for the family to enjoy. The early spring and summer months make way for fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. The colder months encases the park with a certain ethereal beauty perfect for birding, geocaching, and picnicking on crisp mornings.
The campground offers 21 sites for RV and trailer camping and 11 sites for equestrian camping. Each site can hold a rig or campervan up to 50 feet long and comes with water and electrical connections. A dumping station is near the campground for easy access. The park offers open areas for picnicking near the campgrounds with up to 70 picnic tables available for reservations. You can stop by the park or the local area to enjoy summer festivities or just to view the beautiful fall leaves.
Located in Comer, Georgia, several miles from the Savannah River, Watson Mill Bridge State Park presents a wonderful opportunity to picnic in one of the most picturesque state parks in Georgia. Larger RVs are asked to drive a bit slower on the entrance to the park due to the large trees and low hanging branches. Campers with a larger rig are asked to enter the park via the Highway 22 entrance due to the nine-foot and three-ton weight restriction on the covered bridge.
The roads in the park are wide and well maintained, easily accommodate big rigs. If you are going to the main campground, then the parking lot near the main office is the best place to park your rig or extra vehicle. It is advised to walk or ride your bike to navigate through the park. Horses are only allowed on the designated areas and trails. In case of inclement weather, Watson Mill Road may close due to flooding. Be sure to check the weather before you travel and call ahead to make sure the park remains open.
There are 21 available campsites with the capacity to fit a 50-foot RV. Sites are level with plenty of trees to provide privacy from your neighbor and shade from the sun. Each site has water and electrical connections. One site offers sewer hookups as well. A dumping station is available in the campground.
A maximum of six people and two cars are allowed at each campsite and additional vehicles will be charged a small fee. Amenities include hot showers, restrooms, grill, picnic table, and a fire ring. The majority of the sites are pull-through with a few back-ins littered about the campground.
The collection of firewood from your surrounding is prohibited and you are not allowed to bring your own firewood. You can pick up firewood and ice at the park’s store. You can stay a maximum of 14 days at a time and may reserve a spot up to two months in advance in the non-peak season and up to six months in advance in peak season.
You can find bait and tackle shops near the park if you plan on going fishing. Boats are allowed on the river but you will need a permit before you are allowed to entire. All visitors over the age of 16 are required to have a valid fishing license. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a snack with you if you plan to stay out on the river for a long time. You can look forward to catching bass, catfish, crappies, and trout that call the cool waters of the South Fork River home.
There are seven miles of hiking trails to explore once you head out of the camper. Some of these trails are shared with bikers but the trails near the RV campground are for foot traffic only. Pets are allowed on the trails but not near any of the historical sites. All pets should remain on their leashes at all time and you are required to clean up after them. Before you hit the trails be sure to have a flashlight, water bottle, and a good pair of hiking boots.
Stables for the horses are located closer to Highway 72 entrance. All horses are expected to pass a Coggins test. There are, presently, 12 miles of trails available for horseback riding. Dogs are not allowed on the trails at any time and horses are to be either in their stalls or with their rider. The trails are well maintained with water troughs for your horses near their stalls to keep them in the best health.
Over 400 birds call Georgia home and Watson Mill Bridge State Park is no different. You can pick a birding checklist from the main office on your way into the park. Be on the lookout for cardinals, New World Warblers, Eastern Screech Owl, and many more birds in the area. Put on a pair of walking boots and hike along the two-mile Nature Trail near South Fork River, where you can use your binoculars to get a glimpse of the beautiful Say’s Phoebe.
There are plenty of places to explore with a geocaching device in Watson Mill Bridge State Park. Geocaching requires you to have a few little things: a spirit of adventure, a GPS capable device, hiking boots, a water bottle, a pen/pencil, and your own treasure to trade. Remember to leave each cache site as undisturbed as possible to keep the adventure going.
Picnicking in Watson Mill Bridge State Park is available year-round. There are 70 picnic tables located near the horse stables where you can grill and enjoy the day. There also three picnic shelters with water and electricity available. The enclosed shelters are reserved with a small fee and come with a stove, oven, a large sink, and central heating and cooling. The smaller picnic tables are first-come, first-served unless indicated otherwise.