Hike Sweetwater Creek State Park in North Georgia

Spring will be here soon in Georgia, and today we got a taste of its arrival with 73 degree weather. Makes you excited for fresh spring hikes, and Sweetwater Creek State Park should be on your list. Located in Lithia Springs, Georgia, it is an easy commute from many areas around Atlanta and North Georgia. 

Hike mill ruins

Sweetwater Creek State Park is more of a daytrip kind of place in my opinion, as they only have 5 tent sites and 10 yurts if you wanted to stay overnight, no RV camping at all. It's a shame because there are many miles of trails to hike, a large lake to explore, and a creek with the infamous New Manchester Manufacturing Company textile mill ruins to experience that was a star in The Hunger Games film. Its a lot to do in only one day, especially with kids, but would warrant a return visit for sure. 

Ava at 23 days old, hiking at Sweetwater Creek State Park

Ava at 23 days old, hiking at Sweetwater Creek State Park

Our first trip to the park was when Ava was only 23 days old; I finally was feeling like a human again and wanted to get out and do a gentle hike to get fresh air for all of us. We took a short walk after viewing the visitor center, and decided to take the trail that ran along the creek to the mill ruins. The trail was clean and peaceful with the constant sound of the creek running along side. Lula joined us as well and also enjoyed the creek for other reasons.

Mill ruins

When we got to the mill, it was a pretty neat site to see and not what we were expecting. Unfortunately, there is a huge chain link fence surrounding the ruins to help preserve it, but that is accepted action now because vandalism can destroy history like this. The park does offer a hike tour around the outer perimeter though if you wanted more history and a closer look. 

Ben & Lula in the creek

Ben & Lula in the creek

What to do at Sweetwater Creek State Park

  • tent camp or yurt camp
  • hike 9 miles of trails
  • visit the textile mill ruins
  • Lake activities like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or stand up paddleboards. Rentals are offered onsite in addition to bait shop access
  •  Picnic and take in the beautiful scenery
  • rent a pavilion for family gatherings
  • geocaching
  • book your wedding here! 
  • Take advantage of guided night tours or other events with the park rangers

Get a copy of the trail map online here and learn more about the types of trails you can hike.

 The visitor center was very impressive and recently renovated, which is nice since most of our experiences with state parks involves old and outdated facilities. It reminded me of a mini museum with stuffed native animals in example habitats. Its also a great place to walk through after a hot hike so you can learn about the history, purchase schwag, and cool off! Sweetwater Creek State Park is a family friendly and pet friendly place, and a great historical piece of Georgia that everyone should add to their list to visit. Learn more information on the state park website here, or the Friends of Sweewater Creek's website here.  

 

 Do you have any experiences you'd like to share about Sweetwater Creek State Park? Please comment below! 

Happy road tripping! 

Mindy Sullivan