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:

Closed for the season.

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
Meeting 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
Homeschool Wednesdays
Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
More Dates...
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.
Macro-invertebrate Investigation
Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 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
Tails on Trails Dog Hike
Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 4, 2017 11 AM to 12:30 PM
Bring your four-legged hiking companion and join a ranger on our 1 and a half 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. Register in advance.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Historic New Manchester Mill History Hike
Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 3:30 PM to 5 PM
Saturday, Feb 4, 2017 2 PM to 4:30 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.
"Bark in the Park" Dog Hike
Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 1 PM to 2 PM
Saturday, Feb 11, 2017 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Sunday, Feb 19, 2017 12:30 PM to 1:30 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.
Snake Awareness Program
Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 2:30 PM to 3 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.
Introduction to Birdwatching Hike
Friday, Feb 3, 2017 9 AM to 11 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
"Park Nights, City Lights" Night Hike
Friday, Feb 3, 2017 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Join us for a strenuous, 3 mile night hike to the beautiful east side of the park where we will hike to the "Indian Cave" and climb the East Ridge to view the Atlanta skyline. This hike is open to anyone 12 years and older. A flashlight and sturdy, closed toe shoes are required. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Registration required. No dogs please.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Native American Heritage Hike
Sunday, Feb 5, 2017 12 PM to 2 PM
Sunday, Feb 19, 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.
Backcountry Geology Hike
Sunday, Feb 5, 2017 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
Friday, Feb 10, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 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
Winter Tree Identification Walk
Saturday, Feb 11, 2017 11 AM to 1 PM
Ever wonder what all those incredible trees on the park trails are? This 1.5-mile ranger-led hike will cover identification by bark and habitats(what trees tend to grow near water, or on ridges, for example), and sorting out the leaves that are still left on the ground. We will also be identifying our evergreens. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Photographer's Morning Out
Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 8 AM to 10 AM
Join a Park Ranger who will take you to their favorite photogenic areas to catch the morning light on the magnificent rapids and rocks of Sweetwater Creek as well as the spectacular New Manchester mill (as seen in the film "Hunger Games:Mockingjay").  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Trails Work Day
Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 10 AM to 2 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
Introduction to Wilderness Survival
Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 10:30 AM to 1:30 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.
Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, Feb 18, 2017 6 PM to 8 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
"Off the Beaten Path" Hike
Sunday, Feb 19, 2017 4 PM to 6 PM
Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 3 PM to 5 PM
Join us for a ranger-led, two hour moderate hike to an interesting, seldom-visited area of the park. Eight years old minimum. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (boots preferred) are required. Meet at the Visitor's Center.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Junior Ranger Day Camp Level I (Deer Patch)
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 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.
Stargazer Hike
Friday, Feb 24, 2017 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
This moderate two-mile night hike will take us to a remote area where we will search the night sky for wonders like planets, constellations and shooting stars (weather permitting). Binoculars recommended. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes and a flashlight required. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservations required. Ages 8 and older. No dogs please.  $6 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
"History Hike" Clay Extraction Pit
Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 10 AM to 12 PM
Take a walk back in time as an AmeriCorps Interpretive Ranger guides you on a 2.5 mile hike to the clay extraction pits where the bricks of the New Manchester Mill were made. Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
AmeriCorps
Civil War Textiles
Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 2 PM to 3 PM
Stop by the Manchester Mill ruins to learn about the Civil War Textile Industry, the mill, and its workers. We will have cotton cards and a drop spindle for demonstration and for guests to try. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
AmeriCorps
Early Spring Wildflower Hike
Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 3 PM to 4:30 PM
This 2-mile ranger-led hike will be moderately strenuous and will pass through a variety of wildflower habitats and beautiful areas. Meet in the Interpretive Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5876.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Archery for Beginners
Saturday, Feb 25, 2017 3 PM to 5 PM
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 in no time. 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
Art in the Park
Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 12 PM to 2 PM
Bring any means of arts and crafts (paints and canvas or pencils and notepads) on a ranger-led tour to the astonishing ruins and rapids of Sweetwater Creek. Create your own artwork while you enjoy beautiful views. Reservations required.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Ranger-led Lake Paddle
Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Saturday, Mar 25, 2017 3 PM to 4:30 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
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Mar 24, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 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.
Soak It In
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, Apr 1, 2017 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 8, 2017 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 15, 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
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