Atlanta Metro / Lithia Springs

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Mt. Vernon Rd.
Lithia Springs, GA 30122

770-732-5871 | 800-864-7275
  • Sweetwater Creek Ruins

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  • Sweetwater Creek Boat Rental

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  • Sweetwater Creek Boat Dock

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  • Sweetwater Creek Bait Shop

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  • Sweetwater Creek Lake

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  • Sweetwater Creek

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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. Fishing supplies are available in the adjacent bait shop. During warmer months, the park rents fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. Visitors can join the Park Paddler's Club, which challenges them to explore waterways in six state parks.

Info & Amenities

  • Hours of Operation

    Sunday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Monday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Tuesday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Wednesday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Thursday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Friday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Saturday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM

    Admission & Fees

    Daily ParkPass $5.00

    Activities

    Nature Trails

    Facility Amenities

    Gift Shop, Parking on Site, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Public Restrooms

    General Information

    Family-friendly

    Group Amenities

    Group-friendly

    Near Interstate Highway

    20

    Rentals

    Boat Rental, Canoe / Kayak

    Special Tags

    Civil War Site

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages

Events

  • Art in the Park

    Art in the Park

    10/04/2014 - 10/24/2014

    Bring your canvas and paint, clay, camera, or oil pastels for exclusive access to the interior of the five-story New Manchester Mill. Create your own artwork while you enjoy beautiful views of the Sweetwater Creek rapids alongside the dramatic mill ruins in the glory of autumn. Reservations required.

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  • Historic New Manchester History Hike

    Historic New Manchester History Hike

    10/04/2014 - 10/25/2014

    This mile-long hike (easy to moderate) will lead to the five story ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester textile mill and focus on the history of the Sweetwater Creek Valley. This historian or ranger-led hike will include going inside the ruins and seeing the lovely whitewater rapids, which provide great photo opportunities.

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  • Twilight Lake Paddle

    Twilight Lake Paddle

    10/04/2014 - 10/25/2014

    Join us for a peaceful, ranger-led outing as we watch for wading birds and enjoy the setting sun. This program is open to adults and children 6 years or older who are accompanied by an adult. You may choose a canoe or kayak for this trip. Reservations required.

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  • Sweetwater Creek by Kayak

    Sweetwater Creek by Kayak

    10/04/2014 - 10/25/2014

    Join us for a beautiful two-hour paddle through a peaceful stretch of Sweetwater Creek in a tandem kayak. There is an optional 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. with a parent. Kayak, PFD, and paddle included. Register in advance.

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  • Eastside Evening Hike

    Eastside Evening Hike

    10/04/2014 - 10/04/2014

    Join us for a strenuous, three mile evening hike to the beautiful east side of the park where we will climb the East Ridge, visit the "Indian Cave" and hike to other seldom-visited areas. This hike is open to anyone 16 years and older. Closed-toe shoes are required. Dogs are not permitted on this hike. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservations are required.

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  • Photography 101 (Class 1-Lighting)

    Photography 101 (Class 1-Lighting)

    10/05/2014 - 10/19/2014

    Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek, as we learn about lighting. You don't need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual.

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  • Ranger-led Lake Paddle

    Ranger-led Lake Paddle

    10/05/2014 - 10/05/2014

    Join us for a ranger-led, peaceful outing on the lake and up Beaver Creek. This trip is for those 16 years or older who can swim or children 6 years or older who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Bait Shop. Register in advance.

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  • For Women By Women: Introduction to Kayaking

    For Women By Women: Introduction to Kayaking

    10/05/2014 - 10/19/2014

    Join us for an introduction to kayaking on beautiful Sparks Reservoir. This program is for girls and women 16 years and older who are able to swim and are new to kayaking. Reservations are necessary. Meet at the Bait Shop.

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  • "Ruins to Rapids" Almost Full Moon Hike

    10/09/2014 - 10/09/2014

    This 1.5 mile ranger-led hike is rated "moderate" and follows the lovely rapids of Sweetwater Creek to the Civil War-era mill ruins of New Manchester where we will tour inside the mill. Hikes will continue if it is overcast but will be cancelled if it is raining. A flashlight and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. No children under six or dogs are allowed.

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  • "Almost Full Moon" Night Paddle

    10/10/2014 - 10/10/2014

    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. This is limited to 12 people who can swim and are ages 18 or older. A flashlight is required. Call for reservations.

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  • "Rivers Alive" Cleanup

    10/11/2014 - 10/11/2014

    Rivers Alive is Georgia's annual waterway cleanup event that targets all waterways in the state. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources. We will be cleaning up around Sweetwater Creek and Sparks Reservoir. A limited number of Rivers Alive t-shirts will be available.

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  • Photography 101 (Class 2-Composition and Point of View)

    Photography 101 (Class 2-Composition and Point of View)

    10/12/2014 - 10/26/2014

    Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek State Park, as we learn about composition and point of view. You don't need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot is acceptable. Bring your manual. This class offers easy instructions, classroom time and a hike in the woods.

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  • Fall Color Lake Paddle

    Fall Color Lake Paddle

    10/12/2014 - 10/26/2014

    This peaceful, ranger-led paddle will allow you to explore the Sparks Reservoir and Beaver Creek in the magnificence of fall color. All who are over 16 and can swim are welcome, as are those six years and older who can swim and are accompanied by a parent. Meet at the Bait Shop. Reservations required.

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  • Introduction to Birdwatching Hike

    Introduction to Birdwatching Hike

    10/16/2014 - 10/16/2014

    This field trip is designed for anyone interested in learning more about birds, the important habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society which are dedicated to bird conservation. We will meet at the park's Interpretive Center.

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  • Stargazer Paddle

    Stargazer Paddle

    10/17/2014 - 10/17/2014

    Join us for this evening paddle on the Sparks Reservoir. We will watch the sun set and then search the sky for wonders like planets, stars, constellations, and shooting stars as night arrives. This program is for anyone over 17 who can swim. Binoculars are recommended. Includes choice of canoe or tandem kayak, PFD, and paddle. Meet at the Bait Shop.

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  • Geology Hike

    Geology Hike

    10/18/2014 - 10/18/2014

    Geologist John Johnston will lead a moderate two-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 short visit inside the ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester Mill.

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  • Snakes Alive

    Snakes Alive

    10/19/2014 - 10/19/2014

    Join Park Manager David Jordan in this up-close hour featuring live, non-venomous snakes. We will learn all about our local snakes, including the venomous ones, as well as the natural history of snakes and all about their behavior and senses. Meet at the Visitor's Center.

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  • "Bark in the Park" Dog Hike

    10/19/2014 - 10/19/2014

    Join a Park Ranger and bring your four-legged companion on this moderate mile long hike to the rapids of Sweetwater Creek with a short visit inside the five-story Civil War era New Manchester Mill ruins. This is for ages 6 years and older. Sturdy, closed toe shoes required. Reservations are recommended.

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  • Mid-Week Wind Down Paddle

    Mid-Week Wind Down Paddle

    10/22/2014 - 10/22/2014

    Join us for a peaceful paddle on the beautiful George H. Sparks Reservoir as the sun sets and we refresh ourselves in preparation for the end of the work week. You may choose a canoe or kayak for this program. Open to anyone 16 or older who can swim and children 6 or over who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. Register in advance.

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  • Candlelight Hike to the Mill

    Candlelight Hike to the Mill

    10/25/2014 - 10/25/2014

    This mile-long guided night hike is easy to moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester. Candle lanterns will be provided. No children under 6 years or dogs permitted. Meet and register at the Interpretive Center.

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  • Native American Heritage Hike

    Native American Heritage Hike

    10/26/2014 - 10/26/2014

    Join us for a two hour moderate hike focusing on the first inhabitants of our area, the Native Americans or American Indians, as we explore the eastside which will include a visit tothe "Indian Cave". Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservations recommended.

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