Sope Creek (via Paper Mill Road)

Location: North Central Georgia
Trip Starts: Paper Mill Road
Trip Ends: Paper Mill Road
Total Distance: 2.7 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Sope Creek Trail
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Type: Day Hike
More Information:

National Park Service
Chattahoochee National Recreation Area
1978 Island Ford Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30350


Sope Creek is named for a full-blooded Cherokee Indian who lived along its banks. The Indians had been removed by law from the area in 1838, but somehow Old Chief Sope managed to remain. It is said that little boys in the area would run away from home to visit the kindly man who told them stories and taught them Cherokee words.

The stone ruins along the creek are remnants of the Marietta Paper Mill which produced a large portion of the South’s paper from 1855 to 1902. Union troops burned the original mills in 1864. Contrary to popular belief, the ruins are from the buildings erected after the Civil War. To reach the mills, visitors must use the car parking lot at Sope Creek on Paper Mill Road and descend on foot to the ruins.

This three mile loop hike skirts the edge of the Marietta Paper Mill and descends along a well worn hiking trail to Sope Creek. It crosses some mountain biking routes on occasion, so be sure to watch the trail carefully. After following along the banks of Sope Creek for about a mile, it climbs back toward Sibley Pond and loops to the parking area where the hike began.

GPS Coordinates:


  1. Kay Harrison says:

    Thank you for posting accurate information about old Chief Sope. As a child, I was entertained with stories about Chief Sope from Grandpa Holt, whose own grandfather knew the Chief. Grandpa Holt showed us where Chief Sope had lived and where he was buried. Many people say there was no Chief Sope but I knew Grandpa Holt to be a forthright man who was honest and genuine. He wanted little for himself and lived in a small Windstream anchored near a creek. He kept his milk and butter in his “refrigerator “ carved in the edge of the creek. He learned much from the lessons passed down to him from Chief Sope and he generously shared them with any young people who took the time to listen.
    Thank you again,

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