Watson Mill Bridge State Park is located along the banks of the South Fork River, midway between the towns of Comer and Carlton, around 20-miles east of the city of Athens. Watson Mill Bridge State Park is home to the longest covered bridge in the state of Georgia and was once the location of an important mill.
In the state park, you can enjoy various activities, including hiking and biking trails, fishing, canoeing on the river and geocaching. There’s plenty to keep you occupied when you book an RV in Watson Mill Bridge State Park.
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking in the park, with seven miles of trails of various lengths and difficulties. When you rent a camper near Watson Mill Bridge State Park, you’ll find plenty to see and do.
A two-mile Nature Trail that passes the covered bridge and the site of the old Watson’s Mill runs along the south of South Fork River. The old sluice that carried water to operate the old powerhouse is still visible and runs for about 300 yards. The powerhouse provided electricity for a textile mill in Crawford around ten miles away. The trail continues along the river bank, through woods and passes the campgrounds.
Running along the north side of South Fork River is the 2.5-mile Biking and Hiking Trail. The majority of the trail is under the shade of trees and has been designed for Mountain bike beginners and intermediates as it is fairly easy going with only a few steep inclines.
Beaver Creek Trail is 1.5-miles long and is a loop that passes several beaver ponds. The beavers have moved on after heavy storms washed away the dams, but it is still an important wetland area and great for bird-watching.
The park offers great opportunities for fly-fishing, bass, and trout fishing. You will need a state license, but it’s well worth it. Bring your rental RV, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Camping at Watson Mill Bridge State Park
The campground at Watson Mill Bridge State Park has over 20 electric hookup campsites in a very picturesque setting. Each of the sites is very secluded with a good distance between them, and it’s a great site for rental RVs.
On the campground, you’ll find modern restrooms with showers and toilets, a laundry facility, and a dump station to empty your rental RV waste tanks. For the children, there is a playground and for the family, canoe and pedal boat rentals. Picnic tables and grills are located around the campground for outdoor meals.
Note that if you plan to go RV camping at Watson Mill Bridge State Park, access across the covered bridge is restricted to a maximum height of nine feet and a maximum weight of three tons. You should normally enter the park from Highway 22.
Exploring the Area
The nearest town is Carlton, but it has few facilities, and just a little further is Comer with general stores, gas stations and a variety of restaurants. There is a small farmers’ market on Saturdays, where you can purchase local produce and crafts.
A short drive to the southeast is the town of Washington, noted as the location that the confederacy voted to dissolve itself and end the civil war. The Robert Toombs House is also located here. Robert Toombs was brigadier general in the Army of Northern Virginia, a US congressman, and a senator, and played a huge role in the development of Georgia. The house and grounds are open to the public, and there are a number of exhibits and displays depicting Toombs and his life. It’s a fascinating insight into the life of a confederate general during the civil war and beyond.
Continuing the history theme in Washington, the Callaway Plantation is well worth a visit. It tells the story of just one of the thousands of plantations that covered the south and gives an insight into one family, the Callaway’s. It started in 1785 as a log cabin, but at its peak in the 1860s had grown to cover 3,000 acres and now included a mansion house made of brick.
Several other buildings are located on the plantation, including the original log cabin, a schoolhouse, and the gray house. The brick mansion was lived by the Callaway's until 1910 and has never been modernized, so there is no electricity or internal plumbing. It really makes a wonderful step back in time to a simpler life.
If beer is your passion, then a trip to the town of Helen might be in order. A slightly longer drive, when you are RV camping at Watson Mill Bridge State Park, but worth it. Each year, from the end of September through October, the town is transformed into a German Oktoberfest! The town has many Bavarian-style buildings, which make it an interesting place to visit at any time, but a must during Oktoberfest!