Dungeness Ruins on Cumberland Island. Photo by Tanya, @discoveriesphotography
Hike to Ruins on Scenic Trails in Georgia
Georgia has no shortage of fantastic ruins to see and explore all year long. They are great places to hike to in fall as the air turns crisp and the leaves start to change. Hike to them in winter when the vegetation has died back, and the beauty of these historic sites are contrasted against the overcast skies. Visit again in the spring and summer to see the budding plants along the trails and lush greenery doing their best to cover them up. Check out these five scenic trails to historic ruins in Georgia.
Marietta Paper Mill, Sope Creek at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Impressive fieldstone ruins mark the location of The Marietta Paper Mill, built in the 1850s only to be burned by Union soldiers in 1864. The historic site is one of the many trail networks of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, offering tranquil moments alongside Sope Creek and Sibley Pond.
Ancient Stone Wall, Fort Mountain
History’s mysteries await hikers at Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth, where an ancient stone wall protects the highest point of the mountain for almost 1,000 feet. According to Georgia State Parks, the wall may have been built by early Indians. The purpose of the wall may have been a defense against hostile Indians or maybe part of ancient ceremonies. The trails leading to this historic spot offer an amazing view of the valley below.
Dungeness Ruins, Cumberland Island
The Dungeness Ruins on Cumberland Island are some of Georgia’s most well-known historic ruins. Originally built by the widow of Revolutionary War Hero Nathanael Greene, Dungeness was an impressive four-story tabby home. A rebuild of Dungeness, on the original foundation, was completed by Thomas Carnegie in 1884. Today’s ruins are the result of a fire in 1959. In addition to the Dungeness Ruins, hikers can explore trails through maritime forest and salt marsh.
New Manchester Manufacturing Company, Sweetwater Creek State Park
A short hike leads visitors through shaded forest along the banks of Sweetwater Creek before arriving at the towering brick ruins of a textile mill. The Sweetwater Creek State Park visitor center in Lithia Springs offers an interesting look into the history of this mill, which was burned during the Civil War. Visitors may recognize the mill from several films, including "The Hunger Games" series. Continue hiking beyond the mill ruins to explore this exquisite natural area just west of Atlanta.
High Falls State Park
High Falls State Park in Jackson offers a fascinating history as a booming industrial town bypassed by the railroad in the 1880s. Hike along the river banks for beautiful views of cascading waterfalls and a peaceful trek through the forest. The remains of a hydroelectric power plant are found near the water’s edge.