Sweetwater Creek State Park

Quick Facts

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Georgia

(770) 732-5871

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Sweetwater Creek is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from bustling downtown Atlanta. The most popular trail (red) follows the free-flowing stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful mile-long stretch of white-water rapids below. The 215-acre George Sparks Reservoir is popular with anglers and provides a pretty setting for canoeing or feeding ducks. Fishing supplies are available in the park's bait shop, while wildlife and history displays, trail maps, snacks, and gift items may be found in the visitor center. The Sweetwater Creek Visitor Center distinguishes itself as the most environmentally responsible building in Georgia (LEED-NC PLATINUM). The park is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and the visitor center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Map of Sweetwater Creek (GA)

Latitude, Longitude: 33.753783, -84.639541

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Activities

  • Boating

    Seasonal canoe and kayak rentals are available, as well as fishing boat rental.

  • Fishing

    Lake and stream fishing is permitted. The park provides two fishing docks and fishing boat rentals. Electric motors only. The park has a bait shop that is open seasonally.

  • Hiking

    There are four trails throughout the park for a total of nine miles of trails.

    The Red trail (1 mile) is the most popular trail since it's the shortest and easiest route. It leads by the New Manchester mill ruins along the Sweetwater Creek rapids. The second half of the trail, past the mill, is considerably more strenuous because of the rocky terrain. A history guide for the Red trail is available at the Interpretive Center.

    The Blue trail (2 miles) intersects with the Red trail near the mill. This trail was specifically designed to showcase the non-game wildlife and plant communities. The biological diversity is representative of the Appalachian foothills and includes wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees. The Blue trail is quieter and allows hikers to return via loop rather than backtracking.

    The White trail (3 miles) passes through the most remote areas of the park and connects to the end of the Red and Blue trails. The trail follows Jack's Branch to Jack's Lake. Hikers will see bigleaf magnolias, wild azaleas, and mountain laurel. After climbing out of the lake valley, the trail passes through the Jack's Hill area, which is a favorite place for bird watchers.

    The Yellow trail (3 miles) is a large loop that passes through the rockier areas of the park and the higher elevations. It also passes through beautiful hardwood forests. Hikers will descend through a ravine, at which point they should look for a large rock overhang that was used as shelters for early Native Americans.

  • Historic Sites

    The park provides ranger programs and school programs that explore the geology, bird activity, green buildings, and human history along Sweetwater Creek valley.

  • Picnicking

    Eleven picnic shelters are available by reservation at various points around the park. Each open-sided picnic shelter can be rented.

Seasonality/Weather

During the day, average highs in Lithia Springs, GA during the summer months run from 81 to 90 degrees F; in the fall from 63 to 83 degrees F; in the winter from 51 to 57 degrees F; and spring from 73 to 81 degrees F. At night, average lows during the summer months run from 58 to 69 degrees F; during the fall from 42 to 63 degrees F; the winter from 33 to 35 degrees F; and spring from 42 to 58 degrees F.

Directions

Driving

Take I-20 west from Atlanta, exit #44 at Thornton Road, turn left and go 1/4 mile. Turn right on Blairs Bridge Road, go 2 miles and turn left on Mount Vernon Road.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(770) 732-5871

Links