Sweetwater Creek State Park

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. 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.

$5 parking. Annual passes available.

Park Hours:

7 a.m.–Dark

Office Hours:

9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Bait Shop Hours:

Monday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
(Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
Thursday–Sunday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 2,549 Acres
• 215-Acre Lake
• 10 Yurts ($85) — read one family's review
• 5 Tent Campsites ($25)
• Visitor 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
• Playgrounds
Weddings — park approval required
Family Reunions — park approval required

Nearby Attractions:

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

Friends of Sweetwater Creek

Video from Douglas County News Exchange

Review on FieldTripsWithSue

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View by date
Introduction to Birdwatching Hike
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 8 AM to 10 AM
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 8 AM to 10 AM
This hike is designed for anyone 12 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
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Oct 28, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 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
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
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.
Fall Color Lake Paddle
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, Nov 6, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
More Dates...
This peaceful, ranger-led paddle will allow you to explore the Sparks Reservoir and Beaver Creek in the magnificence of fall color. All who are over 18 and can swim are welcome, as are those 6 years and older who can swim and are accompanied by a parent. Meet at the Bait Shop. Reservations required.  $20 includes canoe or tandem kayak, PFD and paddle $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Trails Work Day
Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 1 PM to 4 PM
Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 1 PM to 4 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
Backcountry Geology Hike
Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 1 PM to 4 PM
Geologist and "Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park" president John Johnston will lead a moderately strenuous three mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. Explore the beautiful Jack's Branch area and the seldom-visited quarry of the New Manchester mill. Meet in the Visitor's Center. Sturdy, closed toe shoes required.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Ruins to Rapids" Full Moon Hike
Monday, Nov 14, 2016 6 PM to 8 PM
This 1.5-mile hike is moderately difficult and goes down to the Civil War-era textile mill ruins of New Manchester and follows the lovely rapids (up to class IV) of Sweetwater Creek. A flashlight and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. No children under 6 or dogs. Meet inside the Visitor's Center. Reservations required.  $6 plus $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
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.

Park directions map

Sweetwater Creek State Park
1750 Mount Vernon Road
Lithia Springs, GA 30122 View Details

Sweetwater Creek State Park