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:

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
• Outdoor Fitness Equipment

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
Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, Jun 23, 2017 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Friday, Jun 30, 2017 7 PM to 8:30 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
Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 11 AM to 1:30 PM
Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jul 1, 2017 10 AM to 12:30 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
Historic New Manchester Mill History Hike
Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 1 PM to 2:30 PM
Sunday, Jul 2, 2017 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Sunday, Jul 16, 2017 2 PM to 3:30 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, Jun 25, 2017 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunday, Jul 23, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 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.
Children's Nature Hike
Thursday, Jul 6, 2017 9:30 AM to 11 AM
This hike for children (6 years and older) will focus on learning more about the beautiful Piedmont forest we live in, especially the animals and plants of this area. We will be hiking down to the five story Civil War-era mill. Along the way we will be searching the creeks with nets for salamanders, tadpoles, crawdads (crayfish), and small fish.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Early Morning Lake Paddle
Saturday, Jul 8, 2017 8 AM to 9:30 AM
Join us for a peaceful early morning paddle on the Sparks Reservoir (canoe or kayak) as we watch for birds and paddle past the new Yurt Village and campground. Open to anyone 18 or over who can swim and children 6 or over who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. Includes boat, PFD, and paddle.  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Geology Hike
Saturday, Jul 8, 2017 10 AM to 1 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
"Almost-Full Moon" Night Paddle
Saturday, Jul 8, 2017 8:30 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.
Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, Jul 9, 2017 8:30 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 GeorgiaSoak It In
Identify Feeder Birds
Wednesday, Jul 12, 2017 9 AM to 10 AM
Join park staff in viewing and identifying different types of feeder birds that visit Sweetwater Creek State Park. Meet in the Visitor's Center. Ages 12 and up. $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Handicapped Accessible
Macro-invertebrate Investigation
Sunday, Jul 16, 2017 10 AM to 1:30 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
Archery for Beginners
Sunday, Jul 16, 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 near Picnic Shelter 2. Program is outdoor and weather permitting. Bring water and bug spray.  $10 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaAmeriCorps
Introduction to Kayaking
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Join us for an introduction to kayaking on beautiful Sparks Reservoir. This program is for men and women 18 years and older who are able to swim and are new to kayaking. Reservations are required. Meet at the Bait Shop. (Kayaks, PFDs, and paddles provided)  $20 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
Hike through the Piedmont Forest
Thursday, Jul 27, 2017 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Join a park ranger for a leisurely hike through our beautiful Piedmont forest as we identify the trees, shrubs, and flowers and discuss the medicinal and edible plants along the way. Meet at the Visitor’s Center  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
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