MORE INFORMATION: Sweetwater Creek State Park 1750 Mt. Vernon Road Lithia Springs, GA 30122 (770) 732-5871
HIGHLIGHTS: Sweetwater Creek State Park has over nine miles of hiking trails and is located only a short distance from downtown Atlanta. The Sweetwater Creek Conservation Park was created to preserve the unique natural and cultural history of the area and this hike along the creek includes a trip to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. The mill made clothing for the Confederate troops during the Civil War before it was burned by General Sherman’s troops in 1864. Along the creek (which looks more like a river than a stream), there are numerous overlooks including one of Sweetwater Falls located at the junction of the red, white, and blue trails.
This loop hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park combines the red and white trails to make a nice loop through the park. To start, follow the red trail down to the water, then continue along Sweetwater Creek over a series of bridges and boardwalks for about a mile. There are outstanding views of the creek and Sweetwater Falls from platforms positioned along the red trail. At Sweetwater Falls, this route picks up the white blazed trail and continues along Sweetwater Creek for a short distance before making a hard right at Jack Hill Creek. As you ascend gradually, Jacks Hill Lake quickly comes into view down an embankment to the left. The White Trail passes this lake, continues gaining altitude, and eventually reaches an open meadow which is sometimes called Jack’s Hill Meadow. Continue across the meadow, walk past a picnic area, and return to the parking area near the visitors center after about four miles. Sweetwater Creek State Park is a day-use facility, and there are not currently any overnight facilities for hikers and backpackers. Eleven picnic shelters and one group shelter are available for day-use, however.