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 Lake

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  • Sweetwater Creek

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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 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

  • Twilight Lake Paddle

    Twilight Lake Paddle

    07/25/2014 - 08/30/2014

    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.

     

    Friday, July 25, 2014
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Saturday, August 2, 2014
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Friday, August 8, 2014
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 read more

  • Eastside Evening Hike

    Eastside Evening Hike

    07/25/2014 - 08/31/2014

    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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  • Historic New Manchester History Hike

    Historic New Manchester History Hike

    07/26/2014 - 08/30/2014

    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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  • Native American Heritage Hike

    Native American Heritage Hike

    07/26/2014 - 08/23/2014

    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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  • Stargazer Paddle

    Stargazer Paddle

    07/26/2014 - 08/29/2014

    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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  • Ranger-led Lake Paddle

    Ranger-led Lake Paddle

    07/27/2014 - 08/31/2014

    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

    07/27/2014 - 09/01/2014

    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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  • Sweetwater Creek by Kayak

    Sweetwater Creek by Kayak

    08/02/2014 - 08/30/2014

    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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  • Sweetwater Creek Canoe Cleanup

    Sweetwater Creek Canoe Cleanup

    08/03/2014 - 08/03/2014

    Join us in beautifying Sweetwater Creek as we pick up trash from the water, by canoe and along the banks. Pre-registration is required and previous canoe experience is required for those in canoes. We will meet at the Visitor's Center.

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  • "Ruins to Rapids" Full Moon Hike

    08/09/2014 - 08/09/2014

    This 1.5-mile hike is moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War-era textile mill ruins of New Manchester and follows the lovely rapids (up to class IV) of Sweetwater Creek. A flashlight and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. No children under 6 or dogs. Meet inside the Visitor's Center. Register in advance.

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  • Geology Hike

    Geology Hike

    08/09/2014 - 08/09/2014

    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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  • Walk in the Woods Through the Eyes of a Native American

    Walk in the Woods Through the Eyes of a Native American

    08/09/2014 - 08/09/2014

    Join naturalist Jeremy Reeme on this walk through the woods as we look at plants and trees and other resources the Native Americans would have used. We will learn about edibles, medicinals, cordage, pottery, shelter, clothing, and firemaking. Closed-toe shoes required. Meet at the Visitor's Center. Reservations necessary at 770-732-5871.

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  • Full Moon Paddle

    Full Moon Paddle

    08/10/2014 - 08/10/2014

    Join us for a peaceful, ranger-led paddle on the Sparks Reservoir under the full moon. This program is offered to all adults (18 years and older) who can swim. You have a choice of a tandem kayak or a canoe. Meet at the Bait Shop. Reservations are required.

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  • Keeping it Beautiful

    Keeping it Beautiful

    08/10/2014 - 08/10/2014

    Join other volunteers as we clean the park land near the lake on the Northern Causeway. Wear old clothes, closed toe shoes, bring work gloves and your lunch. We will work from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then break for lunch. Beginning at 2 p.m. we will offer two programs, a History Hike or a Snakes Alive Program. We will meet at the picnic shelter.

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  • Mid-Week Wind Down Paddle

    Mid-Week Wind Down Paddle

    08/13/2014 - 08/13/2014

    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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  • Snakes Alive

    Snakes Alive

    08/17/2014 - 08/17/2014

    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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  • Introduction to Birdwatching Hike

    Introduction to Birdwatching Hike

    08/20/2014 - 08/20/2014

    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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  • Art in the Park

    Art in the Park

    08/29/2014 - 08/29/2014

    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 warmth of summer. Reservations required.

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  • Sweetwater Creek Cleanup -- Your State Park Day

    Sweetwater Creek Cleanup -- Your State Park Day

    09/27/2014 - 09/27/2014

    Join park staff and "Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park" volunteers as we clean up the Sparks reservoir and hiking trails. We will be cleaning the lake by canoe and kayak and also from the banks. You will also have an opportunity to clean the banks of lovely Sweetwater Creek. Bring gloves and pickup tools.

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