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–Tuesday, Thursday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Closed Wednesdays)
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 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
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Sep 2, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Sunday, Sep 4, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Monday, Sep 5, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
More Dates...
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
"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
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, Sep 3, 2016 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, Sep 3, 2016 5 PM to 7 PM
Saturday, Sep 10, 2016 11 AM to 1 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
Sunday, Sep 4, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Friday, Sep 23, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 PM
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.
Hiking 101: Introduction to Hiking
Monday, Sep 5, 2016 2 PM to 4 PM
Join the park staff for a brief classroom lesson on basic hiking skills followed by a very scenic ranger-led hike down to Sweetwater Creek viewing the New Manchester Mill and whitewater rapids. We will learn about the equipment and techniques that can make your hikes more enjoyable and safe. Reservations recommended. Meet at the Visitor’s Center.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Geology Hike
Saturday, Sep 10, 2016 10 AM to 12 PM
Saturday, Oct 1, 2016 1 PM to 3 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
Sweetwater Creek Canoe Cleanup
Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 1 PM to 3 PM
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
"Almost-Full Moon" Night Paddle
Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 8 PM to 10 PM
Join us for an evening of enchantment as we paddle the lake at night under the light of the moon. You will have a choice of a tandem kayak or a canoe. Limited to 12 people who can swim and are 18 yrs. or older. A flashlight is required. Call for reservations.  $25 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Bark in the Park" Dog Hike
Friday, Sep 16, 2016 6 PM to 7 PM
Monday, Oct 10, 2016 10 AM to 11 AM
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.
Full Moon Paddle
Friday, Sep 16, 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
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
Native American Heritage Hike-National Trails Day Hike
Sunday, Sep 25, 2016 3 PM to 5 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.
Green Building Tour
Sunday, Sep 25, 2016 4 PM to 5 PM
The Park's Visitor Center/Museum is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings anywhere. It has received the highest LEED certification (Platinum) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn about sustainability, green buildings and what makes this one so special.  $2 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5876.
Handicapped Accessible
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
Junior Ranger Day Camp Level I (Deer Patch)
Monday, Oct 10, 2016 10 AM to 3 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.
Junior Ranger Camp Level II (Fox Badge)
Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 10 AM to 3 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.
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
"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