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Sweetwater Creek State Park

Reservations 800-864-7275
Park 770-732-5871

 

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» 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. 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's 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.

$5 parking. Annual passes available.
GeorgiaStateParks.org/SweetwaterCreek

Park Hours:

7 a.m.–Dark

Office Hours:

9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Bait Shop Hours:

Monday & Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 8 a.m.–7 p.m.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 2,549 Acres
• 215-Acre Lake
• 10 Yurts ($85) — read one family's review
• 5 Tent Campsites ($25)
• Visitor's Center/Museum/Gift Shop
Conference Room (seats 40, weekday $85/weekend $100)
• 8 Picnic Shelters ($75)
• Group Shelter & BBQ Pit (seats 150, weekday $175/weekend $225)
• 2 Fishing Docks
• 1 Boat Ramp
• Bait Shop — seasonal

Things To Do & See:

Hiking — 12 miles of trails
• Fishing — electric motors only
• Kayak, Canoe, Stand-Up Paddleboard, & Aquacycle Rental — seasonal, Park Paddlers Club
• Boat Rental — seasonal
• Picnicking
Geocaching
• Interpretive Programs
Birding
• Playgrounds
Weddings — park approval required
Family Reunions — park approval required

Nearby Attractions:

• Atlanta, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
• Douglasville, Georgia
Henry County
Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site
Sandy Springs, Georgia
• Six Flags Over Georgia Theme Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park Business Plan

Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park

Park Paddlers

DCNE Sweetwater Creek Video Special


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Events
"Bark in the Park" Dog Hike
Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 10 AM to 11 AM
Sunday, May 1, 2016 6 PM to 7 PM
Sunday, May 15, 2016 6 PM to 7 PM
More Dates...
Walk the beautiful trails of the park with your four-legged companion. We will enjoy a guided hike by a park ranger alongside the rapids of Sweetwater Creek and view the New Manchester Mill from the recent movie "Hunger Games: Mockingjay." Reservations required. Meet outside the Visitor's Center. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2016 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, May 21, 2016 11 AM to 1:30 PM
More Dates...
Join us for a beautiful two-hour paddle through a peaceful stretch of Sweetwater Creek in a tandem kayak. There is a short hike to view the mill ruins and whitewater rapids. This outing is for adults (18 yrs. and older) who can swim and those 12 yrs. to 17 yrs. who can swim and are w/adult. Kayak, PFD, and paddle included. Register in advance.  $25 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Historic New Manchester Mill History Hike
Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 5 PM to 6:30 PM
Sunday, May 1, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
More Dates...
This hike follows Sweetwater Creek down to the historic five-story Civil War era New Manchester mill with a Park Ranger. The mill, as see in the "Hunger Games: Mockingjay" film, is situated alongside the lovely rapids (up to class IV+) of Sweetwater Creek. This walking tour requires a moderate mile-long hike (total) down to the mill and back.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Native American Heritage Hike
Saturday, Apr 30, 2016 6 PM to 8 PM
Saturday, May 28, 2016 6 PM to 8 PM
Join us for a 2 hour strenuous 1.5 mile hike focusing on the first inhabitants of our area, the Native Americans or American Indians, as we explore the east side which will include a visit to the "Indian Cave". Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservations recommended. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. 6 years and older.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Hidden Gem" Lakeside Hike
Sunday, May 1, 2016 1 PM to 3:30 PM
This "Hidden Gem" hike will take us to a beautiful, seldom visited area around the lake and along a rarely visited section of Sweetwater Creek. This two mile hike is rated moderate. Sturdy, closed toe shoes are required. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, May 6, 2016 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Friday, May 13, 2016 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Friday, May 27, 2016 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Join us for a peaceful, ranger-led outing as we watch for wading birds and raptors and enjoy the setting sun. This program is open to adults who can swim and children 6 years or older who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. You may choose a canoe or kayak for this trip. Reservations required. Meet at the Bait Shop.  $20 includes gear. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Geology Hike
Saturday, May 7, 2016 1 PM to 3 PM
Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 10 AM to 12 PM
Geologist John Johnston will lead a moderate 2-mile hike identifying rocks and explaining how and when they formed. He will also explain the tectonic events that forced the rock units to be faulted and folded. There will be a visit down to the ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester Mill alongside the lovely rapids of Sweetwater creek.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, May 7, 2016 8 PM to 10 PM
Saturday, Jun 25, 2016 8 PM to 10 PM
This mile-long guided night hike is moderately difficult and goes down to the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester alongside the beautiful rapids of Sweetwater Creek. Candle lanterns are provided. No children under 6 years or dogs permitted. No reservations possible. Meet and pay (exact change, $5, cash only) at the Visitor's Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Sweetwater Creek Canoe Cleanup
Sunday, May 8, 2016 1 PM to 4 PM
Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 10 AM to 1 PM
Sunday, Jul 17, 2016 10 AM to 1 PM
More Dates...
Join us in beautifying Sweetwater Creek as we pick up trash from the water by canoe and along the banks. Pre-registration is required and previous canoe experience is required for those in canoes. Meet at the Visitor's Center. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Mother's Day Lake Paddle
Sunday, May 8, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a peaceful guided paddle on the beautiful George H. Sparks Reservoir. Minors 6-17 years old must be able to swim and be accompanied by an adult. Includes canoe or tandem kayak, PFD and paddle. Meet at the Bait Shop. Reservations required at 770-732-5871  $20 per person $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Women of the Mill" Mother's Day Hike
Sunday, May 8, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Join us this Mother’s Day on a ranger-led hike to the historic New Manchester Mill as we discuss the lives of the women and children factory workers of New Manchester in the final days of the Mill before being captured as prisoners of war. This hike is rated moderate. Closed-toe, sturdy shoes are required. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $5 per person $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Family Fun Day
Saturday, May 14, 2016 9 AM to 3 PM
Calling all elementary and middle school-aged children to be accompanied by parents or guardians for the 15th Annual Family Fun Day at Sweetwater Creek State Park. There will be a fishing rodeo, archery program, snake program with mounted animal displays, hunting and fishing simulator and boat rides. Don't miss out on the fun! 770-732-5871.
Ranger-led Lake Paddle
Sunday, May 15, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, May 22, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, May 29, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
More Dates...
Join us for a ranger-led, peaceful outing on the lake and up Beaver Creek. This trip is for those 18 years or older who can swim or children 6 years or older who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Bait Shop. Register in advance.  $20 includes canoe or tandem kayak, PFD, and paddle. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Snakes Alive
Sunday, May 15, 2016 2 PM to 3 PM
Join Park Manager David Jordan in this up-close hour featuring live, non-venomous snakes. We will learn all about our local snakes, including the venomous ones, as well as the natural history of snakes and all about their behavior and senses. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Introduction to Birdwatching Hike
Monday, May 16, 2016 9 AM to 11 AM
This hike is designed for anyone 11 years or older who is interested in learning more about birds, the important habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society which are dedicated to bird conservation. No pets please. Meet at the park's Interpretive Center. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
"Ruins to Rapids" Almost Full Moon Hike
Friday, May 20, 2016 8:30 PM to 10 PM
This 1.5 mile ranger-led hike is rated "moderate" and follows the lovely rapids of Sweetwater Creek to the Civil War-era mill ruins of New Manchester (as seen in "Hunger Games: Mockingjay"). Hike will be cancelled if it is raining. A flashlight and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. No children under 6 or dogs allowed.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Saturday, May 21, 2016 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Join park staff for an introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and a tour of the lovely Sparks Reservoir. This program is for anyone 12 years or older who can swim and are new to SUP. Limited to 8 participants. Paddleboard, PFD, and SUP paddle included.  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Introduction to Kayaking
Saturday, May 21, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Join us for an introduction to kayaking on beautiful Sparks Reservoir. This program is for men and women 18 years and older who are able to swim and are new to kayaking. Reservations are required. Meet at the Bait Shop.  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, May 21, 2016 8 PM to 10 PM
Join us for a peaceful, ranger-led paddle on the Sparks Reservoir under the full moon. This program is offered to all adults (18 years and older) who can swim. You have a choice of a tandem kayak or a canoe. Meet at the Bait Shop. Reservations are required.  $25 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Home School Day at Sweetwater Creek
Thursday, May 26, 2016 10 AM to 1 PM
This month we are taking a closer look at the properties of water and the microscopic organisms that inhabit it. Join us to run water samples, participate in H2Olympic activities, and learn to use a microscope on water samples. These activities are aimed at grades 3-5. Call the Visitor Center by 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 to pre-pay/pre-register.  $3 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Junior Ranger Camp Level II (Fox Badge)
Friday, May 27, 2016 9 AM to 2 PM
This day camp is for Jr. Rangers ages 6-12 years old who have already attained their deer badge and are wishing to advance to the fox badge. There will be various nature and history related activities including a pedal boat program, a hike to the 5-story New Manchester Mill ruins, a reptile show, a green building tour,and arts and craft projects.  $25 includes Junior Ranger book and fox patch (lunch not included). 770-732-5871.
Sweetwater Sunrise Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Saturday, May 28, 2016 7 AM to 8:30 AM
What better way to enjoy a sunrise and start your Memorial Day weekend than on the beautiful George H. Sparks Reservoir? This program is for those 18 years or older and who have prior SUP and swimming experience. Spaced is limited and reservations are required at 770-732-5871. Meet at Bait Shop. $25 per person plus $5 parking.  $25 per person $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Junior Ranger Day Camp Level I (Deer Patch)
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 9 AM to 2 PM
This camp is for children ages 6-12 who have not previously been in a Junior Ranger program. This program focuses on attaining the Level I Deer Badge. There will be a nature/history hike to the New Manchester Mill, a live reptile program, and nature-oriented arts and craft projects. Registration is necessary. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $25 includes Junior Ranger Book and Deer patch (lunch not included). 770-732-5871.
Volunteer Trail Maintenance - National Trails Day
Saturday, Jun 4, 2016 9 AM to 12 PM
Join park staff, Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park, and other volunteers, as we work on cleaning up and maintaining Sweetwater's beautiful trails. Gloves, hand tools, and water recommended. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Tails on Trails -- National Trails Day Dog Hike
Saturday, Jun 4, 2016 10 AM to 12 PM
Bring your four-legged hiking companion and join a ranger on our 3-mile Red Trail and White Trail Combo. Dogs must be leashed at all times. We’ll explore areas of whitewater rapids (up to class IV) and see the ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester Mill, as seen in Hunger Games. Two people per dog max. Register in advance.  $7 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Dragonfly Discovery
Saturdays 10 AM - 11:45 AM – Jun 4, 2016 until Jun 25, 2016 
Explore the Sweetwater Creek River Basin while seining for Dragonfly and other Macro-invertebrates. Dip into the water and discover Macro-invertebrates & Amphibians living in Sweetwater Creek's under-water world. Test the Water Quality for pH, Temperature & Turbidity.  $3 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Hidden Gem" Kayak and Hike
Sunday, Jun 26, 2016 7:30 PM to 9 PM
This "hidden gem" includes both a paddle and a hike. Both will be to little visited areas and will focus on the flora and fauna of the area. Tandem kayak, PFD, and paddle included. All participants must be over 12 years and able to swim.  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
"Hidden Gem" Eastside Hike
Saturday, Jul 9, 2016 9 AM to 12 PM
This "Hidden Gem" hike to a beautiful, seldom-explored area will take us to a remote and gorgeous area on the eastside of Sweetwater Creek. You'll enjoy great views of Class IV rapids. This three mile hike is rated strenuous. Sturdy, closed toe shoes are required. 12 years and older. Meet at the Visitors Center.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
Renewable Energy Program for 3rd-8th Grade Kids
Monday, Jul 11, 2016 9 AM to 1 PM
Spend the week with Okla Choctaw Nation and The Captain Planet Foundation learning everything you wanted to know about solar, wind and turbine energy.  $50.00 per child $5 parking. 678-796-6552.
"Hidden Gem" Eastside Nature and History Hike
Saturday, Aug 6, 2016 9 AM to 11:30 PM
This "Hidden Gem" hike will be to a little-known, beautiful area on the east side of the park and will encompass the nature and history of this area. This 2.5 mile hike is rated moderate. Sturdy, closed toe shoes are required. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
"Hidden Gem" Lake Paddle and Hike
Saturday, Sep 3, 2016 9 AM to 12 PM
This "Hidden Gem" program includes a lake paddle and hike to a seldom-visited area. Kayak or canoe, PFD, and paddle included. Must be able to swim and over 12 years old. The hike is rated moderate. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required.  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
National Public Lands Day
Saturday, Sep 24, 2016 9 AM to 12 PM
Join park staff and other volunteers to celebrate National Public Lands Day by improving Sweetwater Creek State Park. Water, gloves, comfortable work clothes, and closed-toe shoes recommended. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Hidden Gem History Hike
Sunday, Oct 2, 2016 1 PM to 3 PM
This "Hidden Gem" hike will take us to several interesting Civil War era historic sites and ruins in the Ferguson's Crossing area of the park. This hike is rated moderate and closed toe, sturdy shoes are required.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
Trails Work Day
Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 10 AM to 1 PM
Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 10 AM to 1 PM
Join us for a volunteer work day performing general trail maintenance on the beautiful trails of the park. Bring gloves, water, comfortable work clothes, and closed-toe, sturdy shoes. Recommended age 12 and up. Meet at the Visitor's Center. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
"Hidden Gem" Visitor's Center/Museum Tour
Sunday, Nov 27, 2016 1 PM to 2:30 PM
This "behind the scenes" tour of the LEED Platinum Visitor's Center/Museum will not only showcase the green building highlights of the building but also little-known and interesting facts about some of the exhibits.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Handicapped AccessibleHidden Gem
"Hidden Gem" New Manchester Daily Life Hike
Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 2 PM to 4 PM
This "Hidden Gem" hike will focus on the everyday life of the New Manchester residents and will visit sites not normally visited to see where they lived, where they got their drinking water, the 1850's roads they used, etc.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hidden Gem
Address/Directions
Sweetwater Creek State Park
1750 Mount Vernon Road
Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Douglas County


GPS Coordinates:
N 33.753783 | W -084.639000

Take I-20 west from Atlanta, exit #44 at Thornton Road, turn left and go ¼ mile. Turn right on Blairs Bridge Road. After 2 miles, turn left on Mount Vernon Road and proceed to the park.


BLUE-A-1
Sweetwater Creek State Park
1750 Mount Vernon Road
Lithia Springs, GA 30122 View Details


  33.753783
Sweetwater Creek State Park


Make reservations using the options above or call 1-800-864-7275 (Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. EST).
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