Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs

4.7
#26 of 74 in Nature in Georgia
Sweetwater Creek State Park is a 2,549 acre (10.32 km2) Georgia state park located in the New Manchester area of east Douglas County, 15mi from downtown Atlanta. The park is named after Sweetwater Creek which runs through the park. Sweetwater became an official state park in 1972, driven in great part by the work of the Georgia Conservancy, an environmental organization that was formed during a meeting at Sweetwater Creek in 1967.The park features wooded walking and hiking trails, the George Sparks Reservoir, a visitor center, a bait shop, and a gift shop, as well as the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. The Visitor Center displays artifacts that belong to Native Americans, remnants from the Civil War era, and mounted animals and birds. The park has rich biodiversity, geology, and history. The park's mission is to conserve environment for the present and future generations through use of various conservation methods such as bioretention ponds, solar panels, green roofs, and a composting toilet.HistoryThe area of the Sweetwater Creek park used to belong to the Cherokee and according to a legend “Sweetwater” means the name of Chief Ama-Kanasta. In 1819, hunger for land led the state of Georgia to appeal to the United States government to remove the Cherokee; the appeal was rejected. In 1827, the state of Georgia began to divide the Cherokee lands through lotteries. In 1829, just elected president Andrew Jackson who was an ally of the state of Georgia challenged the reject of appeal. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court’s decree stated that Georgia had no right to forbid the Cherokee government, in 1831, Georgia’s General Assembly arranged all Cherokee land inspected and distributed by lottery. In 1838, federal troops started forcing the Cherokee to leave Georgia and Alabama and about twenty thousand were forced to west to Oklahoma via the Trail of Tears.
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Sweetwater Creek State Park Reviews
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4.7
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  • We hiked about half a mile to see the historical ruins of the cotton mill. It is a beautiful area and so much history!  more »
  • Stayed at Sweetwater Creek State park's yurt rental this past weekend. We were fortunate enough to be the only ones who rented a yurt out of 10 so it was very peaceful and quiet. Upon arrival to our y...  more »
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park is an easily accessible park, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that such a place existed so close to Atlanta. There are multiple trails with varying difficulty, a...  more »
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  • I did not get to see very much of the park during my visit I was in there covered pavilion the entire time hosting a wedding reception. The pavilion was great it boasted a fire place and an open fire cooking area along with an electric stove, fridge, and two tub sink. the building was a traditional long house style with the kitchen off to the side and considerate amount of exits. There is also a separate smokehouse building and bathrooms right next to the Pavilion along with a playground and a fair amount of parking. My experience at the Pavilion was exceptional however like all State parks we had to pay to park and I can't speak for the rest of the park because I didn't see it.
  • Easy to park and walk, signage to get started could be better, but go behind the back of visitors center and then follow the color of the map, they paint squares on the trees to follow. The old Mill and river is the real highlight, very beautiful any time of year. The red route by the Mill is quite challenging, as is the green or white route back up the hill away from the Mill, but there are benches to rest at if you need them. The visitors center is worth a quick look in too with some interesting history as well as a few local crafts on sale.
  • The creek is beautiful. A great place to escape to when you've had too much city. My friend brought me here and I will definitely be going back. The trails are long and curvy with many hills. During sunset hours, it's the most amazing site to see the sun's rays beam through all the trees in the woods. You could capture some great photos.
  • Absolutely amazing time camping here. Literally had the best time of my life so far!! I highly recommend checking the trails out and if you are looking to camp, it's also very nice....except the fact that the camp sites are placed rather close to the road. You can hear the cars and see lights shine into your tent throughout the night. Other then that. It was a GREAT experience.
  • I love coming here! It is such a beautiful place. There is one area of the park to fish. Another to rent a paddle boat or canoe. The main area where I go is the hiking trails. Most know that this park was a filming spot for The Hunger Games. The area where the mill ruins are is truly beautiful and incredible to see that some of it still remains. The creek/river is quite picturesque with the elevation changes in the water creating little streams and mini waterfalls. I love coming here to hike with my dog and putting up my hammock to relax and enjoy the view.

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