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.
GeorgiaStateParks.org/SweetwaterCreek

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
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 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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Events
Geology Hike
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
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
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Oct 7, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Sunday, Oct 9, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Friday, Oct 14, 2016 5:30 PM to 7 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
"Bark in the Park" Dog Hike
Friday, Oct 7, 2016 6 PM to 7 PM
Monday, Oct 10, 2016 10 AM to 11 AM
Friday, Oct 21, 2016 6 PM to 7 PM
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, Oct 8, 2016 11 AM to 1 PM
Saturday, Oct 8, 2016 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Saturday, Oct 15, 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.
Green Building Tour
Sunday, Oct 9, 2016 2 PM to 3 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
Native American Heritage Hike-National Trails Day Hike
Sunday, Oct 9, 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.
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.
Historic New Manchester Mill History Hike
Friday, Oct 14, 2016 5 PM to 6:30 PM
Sunday, Oct 16, 2016 5 PM to 6:30 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.
Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 7 PM to 9 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 Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
"Almost-Full Moon" Night Paddle
Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 7 PM to 9 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.
Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, Oct 16, 2016 7 PM to 9 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
Find Your Bearing with Orienteering
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 10 AM to 11:30 AM
We'll be heading onto the trails to teach you the sport of Orienteering. You'll learn how to use a compass, read a topographic map, count your paces, and navigate the permanent course at Sweetwater. Bring water, a hat or sunglasses, and a compass. Some compasses available for loan during the program, or for purchase. Meet at the Visitor Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Sun Salutations Yoga
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 10 AM to 11 AM
Greet the day with a relaxing morning yoga session at the park. We'll be starting at the Visitor Center, then enjoy a short hike to the river where you will be guided by an AmeriCorps Interpretive Naturalist into beginner's level yoga. Call the Visitor Center 770-732-5871 to reserve your spot. Bring water and a yoga mat. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Creatures of the Night Face Painting
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 to Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 11:30 AM
Bring your favorite night time creature out into the light for a day. AmeriCorps volunteers will be at the Visitor Center to help bring in the autumn season and animal themed face paint designs for adults and children. Bring a clean smiling face to this event! $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Handicapped AccessibleAmeriCorps
Clicks in the Night, a Batty Experience
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 1:30 PM to 3 PM
Fight mosquitoes all year round and complete a project with your family by putting up a home-made bat house in your yard. Come for free just to learn about bats, or pre-register with the Visitor Center to build and take home a bat house. Materials are limited, so call to reserve your spot. Meets at the Visitor Center.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Handicapped AccessibleAmeriCorps
"John Muir Inspired" Identification Hike
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 3 PM to 4:30 PM
No cameras or search engines, only pencil and paper. This hike will be an educational program geared toward identifying native and non-native animal and plant species. Later at the lab we will identify with the help of field guides what we had earlier sketched. Pencil and sketch pad recommended. 16 yrs. and older. Reservations required.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Great Pumpkin Bow Hunt
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Show us your skills on this Fall themed archery program for beginners. We'll supply all necessary equipment to have you hitting the target in no time. Limited space, so call the Visitor Center to pre-register your spot. Bring water, sunglasses or hat. Ages 9 and up only. Meet at the picnic area across from Picnic Shelter #2.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Creepy Crawly Starry Night Hike
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 8:15 PM to 10 PM
Join us for a moon-lite hike to look for creatures that can glow in the dark. We'll explore the trails with black light flashlights, and end with a lovely gaze at the stars with star-charts and a telescope. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toed shoes. Meet at the Visitor Center. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Fall Color Lake Paddle
Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 2 PM to 3:30 PM
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
Introduction to Fly Fishing
Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 2 PM to 4 PM
Join us for a ranger led guide to learning the art of fly fishing. We will practice casting techniques and learn about the gear and tackle that will help in your journey for catching fish on a fly rod. Bring your own rod, reel, and tackle. Meet at the Visitor Center. Max capacity 6. Reservations required.  $25 plus $5 parking. 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
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.


Park directions map

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


  33.753783
Sweetwater Creek State Park