Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park
Reservations 800-864-7275
Park 770-732-5871

NOTICE: Within the next month, Sweetwater Creek State Park will conduct a prescribed burn in a controlled area of the park. This burn will not impact park operations but will instead encourage the land to start healthy regrowth.
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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:

8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 2,549 Acres
• 215-Acre Lake
• 10 Yurts — read one family's review
• 5 Tent Campsites
• Visitor Center/Museum/Gift Shop
Meeting Room (seats 40)
• 8 Picnic Shelters
• Group Shelter & BBQ Pit (seats 150)
• 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
Home-school Junior Ranger Camp
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 11 AM to 4 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(Lunch not included) $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Mar 24, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Friday, Apr 7, 2017 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Friday, Apr 14, 2017 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.
Soak It In
Macro-invertebrate Investigation
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 10 AM to 1 PM
Come down to the riverside, at the base of the New Manchester ruins, to look up close and personal at some of the macroscopic creatures that are essential to life in and around Georgia's waterways. This event is open to all ages. If you would like to help look for critters, please wear close toed water shoes or boots. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Historic New Manchester Mill History Hike
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 12 PM to 1:30 PM
Sunday, Apr 16, 2017 5 PM to 6:30 PM
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 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.
Ranger-led Lake Paddle
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, Apr 9, 2017 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.
Soak It In
Archery for Beginners
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 3 PM to 5 PM
Join Americorp rangers and learn the basics of archery and see if this hobby is right for you. We will provide all the equipment you need to be hitting the bulls-eye. Must be 9 and up to participate. Must prepay to preregister. Registration required. Meet at Picnic Shelter 2. Program is outdoor and weather permitting. Bring water and bug spray.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Snake Awareness
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 3:30 PM to 4 PM
Join a Park Ranger and several snakes in this educational program as we learn about reptiles of Sweetwater Creek State Park. This will be an up-close experience as everyone will have the opportunity to touch the snakes. Reservations recommended. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $2 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Bark in the Park" Dog Hike
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 4 PM to 5:30 PM
Sunday, Apr 2, 2017 1 PM to 2:30 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.
Native American Heritage Hike
Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 1 PM to 3 PM
Sunday, Apr 9, 2017 1 PM to 3 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.
Late Winter/Early Spring Wildflower Hikes
Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Sunday, Apr 2, 2017 1 PM to 3 PM
Thursday, Apr 6, 2017 6 PM to 8 PM
This 2-mile hike will be moderately strenuous and will pass through beautiful wildflower habitats. Early favorites we may see are Hepatica, Bloodroot, Wild Geranium, Wild Iris, Sorrel, and Green and Gold. Generally we see 25 to 30 species on a hike. Meet in the Interpretive Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5876.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Georgia Conservancy's 50th Anniversary Family Reunion
Saturday, Apr 1, 2017 8 AM
Join us for a day of outdoor recreation and education for Georgia Conservancy members, friends and those interested in their work. The day includes a light-hearted spin on 5k/10k trail races sponsored by REI, plus free hourly afternoon hikes.  $25 race fee includes t-shirt. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Sun Salutations Yoga
Sunday, Apr 2, 2017 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Sunday, Apr 9, 2017 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Saturday, May 13, 2017 10:30 AM to 12 PM
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
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Sunday, Apr 2, 2017 4 PM to 6:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 8, 2017 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 8, 2017 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 with adult. Kayak, PFD, and paddle included. Register in advance.  $25 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Soak It In
Homeschool Wednesdays
Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Home-school students of all ages are welcomed to come join park rangers on a educational nature/ history hike to the historic five story New Manchester Manufacturing Mill and class IV rapids. This hike meets the GPS standards. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservation recommended.  $3 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"Ruins to Rapids" Almost Full Moon Hike
Monday, Apr 10, 2017 8 PM to 9:30 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
Full Moon Paddle
Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017 8 PM to 9:30 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 GeorgiaSoak It In
Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 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 at the Visitor Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Geology Hike
Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 1 PM to 4 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
Introduction to Wilderness Survival
Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 3 PM to 6 PM
This Ranger led class covers basic and some advanced survival techniques. For ages 12 and up. Learn general skill such as fire making, emergency shelters, and navigation. Registration is required. Space limited.  $8 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Kiwanis Club Triathlon-Duathlon-5K Fun Run
Sunday, Jun 4, 2017 8 AM to 2 PM
23rd annual Sweetwater Creek State Park Triathlon-Duathlon-5K Fun Run presented by the Kiwanis Club of Douglas County. Triathlon at 8:30AM, $35 Duathlon at 8:00AM, $25 5K Fun Run 8:00AM $15  $15 - $35. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
New Manchester Days
Friday, Jun 16, 2017 10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday, Jun 17, 2017 10 AM to 5 PM
This living history event will bring to life the New Manchester Community that prospered up to the end of the Civil War. Visit a Civil War-era encampment, take a historical tour to the New Manchester Mill, and learn about Civil War-era uniforms and firearms during black powder demonstrations and infantry drilling. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
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