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Hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Lithia Springs, GA
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Mar 31 2019  9:00 am >> Sun, Mar 31 2019 12:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Mar 28 2019 4:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Mar 30 2019 10:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:9 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Join me for a wonderful hike in the most visited park in the State during a cool Spring morning.

We will take the Yellow, Red and blue trails for a combined distance of 9 mi. that showcases the beauty of a hardwood forest and the creek valley.

The first trail (Yellow) passes through some of the most beautiful hardwood forests in the park and has an elevation gain of approximately 350 feet. The second trail (Red) is the most frequently used trail in the park because it’s the shortest trail to the mill ruins and best showcases the beauty of the creek valley. Then we will take the blue trail climbing up and overseeing the creek to return to the interpretive center (parking).

We will start on the Red Trail at the bottom corner of the parking area turning left after approximately 150 feet. onto the Yellow Trail loop for 3 mi. The Yellow trail drops into the creek valley and heads upstream to the bridge across Sweetwater Creek. This bridge was rebuilt after the previous one was washed out a couple of years ago. After crossing the bridge the trail turns downstream where we will pass the wooden footbridge taking the left side at the fork.

As the trail descends through the ravine on the south side of the loop, look for the large rock overhang on the left. Archaeologists estimate that Native Americans used this as shelter for several thousand years. To protect this area do not climb on the slope or the rocks. When the trail leaves the ravine it levels out into many dense stands of Mountain Laurel (beautiful in the spring when they bloom). This is also the area where the bricks for the New Manchester mill were made in the late 1840s. The pits are visible from the trail in the winter.

When we complete the loop we will return to the Red Trail, which after a quarter of a a mile, will take us to the impressive New Manchester mill ruins alongside the white-water rapids of Sweetwater Creek. New Manchester was a mid-nineteenth century mill town which met its demise during the Civil War. A history guide for the Red Trail is available in the Interpretive Center. The second half mile of the Red Trail, downstream of the mill, continues to follow the rapids to the Sweetwater Falls area and is considerably more strenuous because of the very rocky terrain. At the end of the trail we will turn up to return on the blue trail trail back to the Interpretive Center.

Note: Parking is very limited, and there is a $5 parking fee... that is why we are doing the carpool.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Supportive hiking shoes or boots for the often rocky terrain
  • clothes appropriate for the temps and weather
  • water or hydrating drink- one liter.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sun glasses

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):7Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $2.80 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.