Sweetwater Creek - Red, White & Blue Trails
Sweetwater Creek State Park, Georgia
Difficulty
hike difficulty
6.1
Length
hike difficulty
4.4
Duration 2-3 hours
Elevation Gain 560 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Sweetwater Creek State Park
Parking Fee $5, $50 annual pass
Blaze Red/Blue/White
Nearby City Lithia Springs, GA
Trailhead Coord. 33.753443, -84.628394

Travel along the best parts from three of Sweetwater Creek’s most popular trails to form an enjoyable 4.4 mile loop. Rapids, mill ruins, the “falls”, and open fields, the Red, White & Blue trails give you a view of most of what this park has to offer. Don’t forget to visit the environmentally sensitive Visitor Center for trail information and wildlife displays.



This loop will follow the Red trail to the mill ruins, take the Blue trail to “the falls”, then continue along the White trail to form the loop. The Red trail begins at the end of the parking lot away from the Visitor Center. Restrooms are available here and at the Visitor Center. The parking lot is large but fills up fast on weekends. Head down the trail and almost immediately you will come upon a three-way split; turn right to stay on the Red trail. Straight will take you along the Yellow trail and left will circle back to the parking lot. This first half of the Red trail is easy, dropping down to the side of Sweetwater Creek on the way to the New Manchester Mill ruins.



At .4 miles a bridge leading to a side trail to the left will take you on a pleasant detour closer along the river and the increasing rapids. Just after this are the Mill ruins and the intersection with the Blue trail. Head down the steps to get a different view of the Mill ruins and rapids, and then back up the steps to continue along the Blue trail. You could continue on the Red trail at the base of the steps; however, this is more difficult, mostly climbing up and down over rocky terrain along the river.



The Blue trail navigates away from the water, is easily followed and generously blazed. At 1.4 miles you will come to the intersection with the Red and White trails. Before continuing on the White trail, head down the Red trail to the rock overlook for a wonderful view of Sweetwater Creek and “the falls”, which is more a series of rapids than a waterfall.



The White trail continues to follow Sweetwater Creek for another half mile until reaching Jack’s Branch, which it then follows. Hike another .3 miles, passing but not crossing a footbridge. After climbing a short hill, the trail follows wider old roads. A moderate climb of 200 feet over half a mile will lead you to an old farming community. Although there are a few roads and junctions, all are marked with white arrows. Follow the network of roads while walking through open meadows. The trail eventually ends at the opposite end of the parking lot near the Visitor Center, finishing out this loop.

IMAGES & VIDEO
Click on the thumbnails below to view the full size image or video.
  • Sweetwater Creek Rapids, Mill ruins, and the Falls in Spring
TERRAIN MAP
Green MarkerTrailhead   Blue MarkerPoint of Interest   Yellow MarkerDirections
ELEVATION PROFILE
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GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
33.753443, -84.628394 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 33°45.21, W 84°37.7 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 33°45'12'', W 84°37'42'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

Google Map It

Most auto GPS units use the Degree Minutes format as the default.



Further Directions
Once in the park, drive straight until you enter the parking lot at the end of the road. The Visitor's Center is to the right of the parking lot.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Sweetwater Creek State Park
1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, GA 30122
770-732-5871



Cautions & Warnings
A large sign on the White trail informs that the area is a natural habitat for Timber/Canebreak Rattlesnakes. If you see one, leave it alone.



Other Information
For more information about the park, visit:
http://www.gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek
http://friendsofsweetwatercreek.org/