This stunning state park has some of the most amazing hiking trails I have ever seen! Conveniently located West of Atlanta, Sweetwater Creek State Park is an easy drive to escape the big city and get some fresh air. We love this beautiful place and have so many great family memories here!
Our family has visited Sweetwater Creek several times while living nearby. Here you will find many awesome things to see and do. For example, you may find the ruins of the New Manchester textile mill, consequently burned by General Sherman during the Civil War. Additionally, the water running through Sweetwater Creek is quite beautiful and a trail runs along it’s banks for two whole miles. The park’s visitor center has numerous historical displays to explore. Lastly, the gift shop is quite well stocked with t-shirts and souvenirs.
Amazing Hiking Trails!
This wonderful Georgia State Park is a favorite among hikers, trail runners, and dog walkers alike. The reason for this is due to the pathways at Sweetwater being gently rolling to relatively flat in some places. Furthermore, there are several different hiking trails and they can range in difficulty from easy to very difficult. The most popular route is the Red Trail, which parallels the creek all the way to the mill ruins. The trail begins at the visitor center and is very wide and flat. Be sure to ask the park staff for recommendations. Click here for a trail map.
Yurts and Camping near Atlanta
Sweetwater Creek State Park offers unique camping opportunities. For an experience similar to glamping, your crew can rent one of the 10 Yurts on the property. Yurts are like round cabins, but made out of simpler materials. They are very much a hybrid between a cabin and a heavy duty tent. In each is a Full-size bunk bed as well as a full size futon.
Additionally, tent camping is also available at the park, just up the hill from the Yurts. There are only five campsites and they are site specific so definitely consult the campground map before booking. Several hotels are within easy driving distance of the park if you require less spartan accommodations. Another way to go is through vacation rentals like HomeAway or VRBO.
Boating at the George H. Sparks Reservoir
Sweetwater Creek State Park has a very large reservoir on it’s property that provides excellent fishing and boating activity. Another thing to know is that lake traffic is limited to small fishing boats, kayaks, and canoes. Therefore, all of these vessels can be rented from the park’s bait shop.
Additionally, the lake area has a very large parking lot with several picnic tables and bathrooms. Generally, the bait shop is open at 8 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Lastly, the park has several paddle boats for rent. You must propel these using your feet much like a bicycle.
Things To Know This State Park
- The park gates open at 7 a.m. and close at dark. Because of this, hikers must be off the trails before sunset.
- The park does feature 7 picnic shelters for rental. Certainly these shelters are perfect for birthday parties and family gatherings.
- The park also has a Group Shelter for very large gatherings which can also be rented.
- You may find parking limited if visiting on weekends or holidays.
- Park guests are required to pay a $5 parking fee when visiting.
- Another thing to know is that Six Flags over Atlanta is just a 15 minute drive down Interstate 20.
- Downtown Atlanta is just a 20 minute drive but beware of traffic if you are heading into the city.
- Sweetwater Creek State Park offers many exciting programs for school children and groups. Be sure to inquire about these opportunities before visiting.
- Each year, there are numerous trail running races put on at the park.
- The park has a workout station with several pieces of equipment. This great feature is located in the picnic shelter loop, near the playground area.
- Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and fill some Water Bottles.
- Zoo Atlanta is a great nearby attraction for visiting families.
- Your family can visit any Georgia State Park for FREE by visiting your local library and checking out a park pass.
Check out this great video of The Falls area at the end of the Red Trail at Sweetwater Creek State Park as well as this great photo of the falls with snow.