Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park

» Mill Ruins Notice:
› To protect the historic mill ruins and maintain safety, access to the interior is closed to all visitors, including school trips, guided hikes and special events. Hikes to the exterior of the ruins are still available and encouraged.

"The extraordinary beauty of the rugged hills, rocky outcrops, and rolling rapids of Sweetwater Creek have shaped centuries of history engaging you to reconnect with the natural world."

Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from downtown Atlanta. A wooded trail follows the 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 rapids below. Additional trails wind through fields and forest, showcasing ferns, magnolias, wild azaleas and hardwoods. Park rangers lead informative hikes to these areas throughout the year.

The 215 acre George Sparks Reservoir is popular for fishing and provides a pretty setting for feeding ducks and picnicking. However, there is no beach and swimming in the Reservoir is not allowed. Fishing supplies are available in the adjacent bait shop. During warmer months, the park rents fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats. Visitors can join the Park Paddlers Club, which challenges them to explore waterways in six state parks. An award-winning Visitor Center—one of the most environmentally responsible buildings in the country—features exhibits on the area’s history, wildlife displays, trail maps, snacks and a renovated gift shop. A window-lined meeting room that seats 40 can be rented for gatherings.

Reservations, Accommodations & Facilities

Things To Do & See

Nearby Attractions

Review on FieldTripsWithSue.com

Visitor Center Green Building Features


  • Building is integrated into the hillside, minimized site disturbances
  • The building uses an existing parking lot, minimizing new paving
  • Alternative transportation — bicycle storage and shower provided
  • Site disturbance limited to 40 feet beyond building, 5 feet beyond walkways
  • No net increase in rate and quantity of stormwater runoff
  • BMP implementation for removal of suspended solids and phosphorous in stormwater
  • 37% of roof is landscaped and 63% is high-reflectance/high emissivity metal roofing, resulting in reduced heat island effect and storm water runoff
  • Light pollution reduction — zero direct-beam illumination leaves the building site


  • Rainwater harvesting, via the main section of metal roof is stored in a 10,000 gallon cistern for non-potable uses such as hand washing, mop and lab sinks, and exterior wall hydrants
  • Minimal site landscaping reduces water usage
  • No sewer-waterless urinals and composting toilets
  • Converting Waste to Food — Nitrogen rich liquid from the compost bins will be used with diluted greywater before being fed to a demonstration garden using drip irrigation lines at the root level of the plants
  • Centrally located recycling station accessible to the public as well as the building’s staff
  • Water Conservation Strategies result in a potable water use reduction of 77%


  • Long rectangular shape with the long side facing south and the short ends facing East/West to shape and orientation of building maximizes solar exposure and control
  • Earth sheltered construction on the north side of the building
  • Energy performance achieving a 34% reduction from the ASHRAE 90.1-1999 Standard
  • Design of fenestration for daylighting and control of solar gain
  • High insulation values — R-40 roofs, R-19 walls
  • Equipment using no HCFC’s or halon
  • The purchase of green power is being considered for this building


  • Construction waste management — Recycle and/or salvage at least 75% (by weight) construction waste
  • Steel structure, framing, and siding contribute to the use of locally manufactured building materials using recycled content
  • Masonry stucco and fly-ash concrete increase use of locally manufactured building material

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • IAQ management plan during construction and before occupancy
  • Low-emitting materials used throughout interior
  • Ample clerestory windows along north and south facades provide daylighting
  • South facing windows protected from summer sun by sunshades/light shelves


Park Hours 7 a.m.–Dark

Office Hours 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Bait Shop Hours 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays.

Fees & Passes

$5 parking. Annual passes available.

Phone Numbers

Park 770-732-5871

Reservations 800-864-7275


1750 Mount Vernon Road
Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Douglas County

GPS Coordinates
N 33.753783 | W -084.639000