There’s something about covered bridges that evokes a sense of history, a sense of stillness, of being at peace with nature; or, more simply, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and romantic notions of simpler times. The Smoky Mountains, already a nature enthusiast dreamscape, also has a few covered bridges to boast to visitors.
One of these is Emert’s Cove Covered Bridge, just outside of Gatlinburg. This bridge is named after Frederick Emert, a Revolutionary War soldier who settled the area in 1790. The bridge offers safe passage across the river below, the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River. The bridge is often decorated seasonally, making the winter months of snow and wreaths and garland all the more enticing.
Another covered bridge, just a little further away from Gatlinburg, is the Harrisburg Covered Bridge, or the Pigeon River Covered Bridge as it’s sometimes called. Built in 1875, the Harrisburg Covered Bridge took the place of the previous bridge in the same spot that had been washed away in a flood. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge, a true testament to time and 19th-century ingenuity, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.
Either of these covered bridges are perfect for a stroll, some pictures, and unique sightseeing in the Smoky Mountains. Couple it with seeing some of the old homesteads in the park and learning about early settlements and the stories and importance of these bridges really come to life.
And after all that exploring, be sure to stay at one of our Alpine Mountain Chalets for the picture-perfect end of your day. With sweeping views, amenities, and cabin options to suit your exact needs, you’ll feel transported to the sweet simplicity of the mountains.