Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs

#25 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
190 reviews
  • August 3, 2017
    The hike along the creek and loop back to the visitor's center is over 4 miles, but it is a beautiful hike. It is perhaps just a bit challenging at points, but not difficult. You will see the ruins of...  more »
  • July 25, 2017
    We spent two nights in the yurt village. I think the yurts book quickly and in advance for the weekends, but I was able to book a Monday and Tuesday night in July just a few days in advance, and we ha...  more »
  • July 23, 2017
    My family enjoys the hiking trails and the views from the rapids by the mill ruins. Great light exercise that even our pressa canario enjoys.  more »
  • March 21, 2017
    Beautiful and fun. I just wish this whole place was in north Atlanta. The drive takes 45 min for me but after we spend a few hours here, it's totally worth it. Fun for the kids (esp during summer) further down the river where they can walk down the river on the rocks. You can lay out and/or swim during the summer. Fun for history or architectural buffs to see the remnants of the textile factory, which was used during the Civil War to make Confederate uniforms. Lots of shade under the canopy of the trees on the trails. Parking lot can get full during peak times. I haven't fished or boated in the lake, but it's huge and looks fun - we always see lots of people out there.
  • June 7, 2017
    I love this park. Once you get past the red trail (where all the touristy people go to trash the place and be obnoxious) you get to the white and brown trails and then the real adventure begins. Beautiful park with many flora & fauna to discover. Creek crossings, rock walking, meadow, hills, steps, there's a challenge for everyone on this trail. Adding the brown trail puts you over 10 miles vs the 1 mile tourist trail. Check out the building. Games of Thrones anyone? Bring a bag to clean up after the people who have no clue, it's worth it to keep places like this alive.
  • July 3, 2017
    Fantastic place for great hikes and a break from the city. I go several times a week to maintain sanity. Nature time = time well spent.
  • June 29, 2017
    Great trails. Nice scenery. Need more directionals. Spray painting a tree doesnt clarify enough info, especially for people traveling from far that don't live in the area.
  • June 20, 2017
    I love this park. Quiet place to stay alone and relaxing. It is the best state park around Atlanta from my view.

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