The Elizabethton Covered Bridge

Stretching across the Doe River, The Elizabethton Covered Bridge was built in 1882 and still remains a frequented destination. Visitors can walk through the bridge and enjoy activities at The Covered Bridge Park, only a stretch from downtown.

Early Settlement


Photo By:  www.cartercountyhistory.com/covered-bridge.html

The Covered Bridge is located in Elizabethton which was originally known as the “Watauga Settlement.” This area was first settled in 1769 and lies just west of the Appalachian Mountains. Rich with history, Elizabethton is the home of the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 colonies.

The site for the bridge to be built was chosen by J.J. McCorkle, Wiley Christian, and H.M. Rentfro at a cost to the county of $3,000 for the bridge and $300 for the approaches. The bridge is said to be the oldest such bridge in existence that is still vacant for pedestrian-use, spanning 134 feet long.

 A Walk Through Time

Made of mountain oak and white pine beams, the wood for the original bridge structure was hauled down from the mountains by horses and mules.

The Covered Bridge is one out of two bridges in the state of Tennessee that is identified by a Tennessee Historical marker (Marker 1A 62). It is also listed in the Historic Engineering Record, as it withstood the great May flood of 1901. There are at least 8 other markers within walking distance of the bridge to take a deeper view into Tennessee history.

Park visitors can walk or bike through the bridge and enjoy picnicking or winter activities like the new ice rink located at Covered Bridge Park. In the summertime, the city of Elizabethton invites guests out to Covered Bridge Jams on Saturday nights.

Within less than a half hour from the Covered Bridge, there is hiking, mountain biking, sailing, and more!

Minutes from Downtown

You can spend a whole weekend or more exploring Carter County. Enjoy good food, antiquing, and grab a coffee at The Coffee Company while you’re downtown.

While You’re There

Visit Sycamore Shoals State Park, explore nearby waterfalls, or create your own trip through Carter County.

Article & Photography By:

Alicia Bynum, AdventurePickle.com