There is just something about a covered bridge that attracts us. Maybe it’s the ghosts of the past ambling over the wooden boards with a click-clack. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the weathered grey structure with the rust-colored rivers running beneath, the perfect backdrop for a wedding or family photo. Whatever it is, every year tourists travel through Georgia looking for these beautiful remnants of the past.
Explore Georgia has a wonderful article with a list of Georgia’s covered bridges, along with pictures. Before you head there, here are seven facts you probably didn’t know that will make your trip down the covered bridge trail more interesting.
Built in 1897, Elder Mill Covered Bridge in Watkinsville is one of only 13 functional covered bridges left in Georgia.
1. In the early 1900s, there were more than 250 covered bridges in Georgia. Today, there are fewer than 20.
2. The reason bridges were covered was to provide shelter from the elements — not for travelers — but for the wood used for the bridge itself. Without protection, the wooden timbers would rot and decay. Keeping them dry extended their use.
3. Covered bridges were attractive to robbers, who would hide in the rafters, then drop down on their victims while going through the bridge.
Poole's Mill Bridge. Photo by @cgmccall via Instagram.
4. Poole’s Mill Bridge transverses Settingdown Creek in Forsyth County and was built on land taken illegally from the Cherokee Indians. Cherokee Chief George Welch was the original owner, but when the Cherokee were removed in 1838 during the Trail of Tears, the land was sold to Jacob Scudder. The original bridge washed away in 1899 and was replaced with the current 96-foot structure in 1901.
5. The Euharlee Covered Bridge in Cartersville is the oldest covered bridge in the state. Washington W. King built this bridge. He is the son of the most famous bridge builder in the South, Horace King, a freed slave.
Concord Bridge in Cobb County is also known as Nickajack Creek Covered Bridge. - Concord Covered Bridge in Cobb County, Georgia - Photo by Barbara Gaddis via Flickr
6. Concord Bridge is the only covered bridge in Georgia still in public use today. (You can drive across Stone Mountain’s covered bridge, too, but that is only open to park guests.) A couple of hundred yards north of the bridge is an entrance to the Silver Comet Trail.
7. Watson Mill Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the state, with a length of 229 feet.