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Sweetwater Creek Loop

Intermediate
 4.3 (23) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop combining the White Trail and Red Trail for all the best that Sweetwater has to offer.


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Map Key

4.1

Miles

6.6

KM

Loop

1,022' 311 m

High

782' 238 m

Low

312' 95 m

Up

315' 96 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly If the whole loop isn't feasible for the kiddos, just head out on an out and back on the Red Trail. The creek is a fun place for kids and adults alike to cool off during hot summer days.

Park is open 7 am to dark.

Overview

This loop at Sweetwater Creek is a great hike that can be done in a morning or afternoon. Pack a lunch or snack to enjoy along the creek if you have extra time!

Description

Start this hike on the White Trail at the front door of the visitor center. Turn right at the main trailhead to stay on the White Trail (the Red Trail descends to the left). After you enter the forest, the trail will fork. You can go either way, but going right allows you to get a good warm up with gentle inclines. It also allows you to get some of the less-scenic parts out of the way.

After turning right, you'll cross a couple of park roads and eventually end up on an old gravel road. At about a mile, you'll turn left on another gravel road. Follow that all the way to some large fields (great for seeing wildlife in the morning and evening). The White Trail turns right in the fields, continuing southwest. You'll soon be on a rocky doubletrack descent which will take you to a narrower trail nestled in a stream drainage. Keep following the white blazes.

After about 2.3 miles, keep going straight at the intersection with the Brown Trail (where there is a bridge to the right), and you'll eventually end up at Sweetwater Creek. Along the creek, the trail goes through a lot of little rock gardens and there are some easy scrambles over large rock outcroppings. You'll do this for a while until you hit some very steep stairs. Climb the stairs and follow the boardwalk over some steep sections.

Eventually, you'll come to a confusing intersection with the Red Trail. The White Trail goes up the steep, eroded stairs, while the Red Trail goes back towards the river. Turn right onto the Red Trail to head down toward the river. Enjoy a nice photo opportunity as you pass the old ruined mill or head down to the water for a refreshing break before looping back to the visitor center to finish the hike.

Flora & Fauna

Chestnuts, oaks, ferns, beech, deer, and copperhead snakes.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 23 votes

#521

Overall
  4.3 from 23 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
30%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#10

in Georgia

#521

Overall
90 Views Last Month
4,293 Since Oct 27, 2016
Intermediate

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0%
76%
0%
24%
0%

Photos

Playing in Spring Creek
Jun 11, 2018 near Austell, GA
Red Trail follows Sweetwater Creek in its namesake state park.
Feb 26, 2017 near Austell, GA
Natural healing on an energetic hike at my favorite local state park!
Feb 26, 2017 near Austell, GA
Ruined mill.
Aug 13, 2016 near Austell, GA
Rocky Sweetwater Creek.
Jul 30, 2016 near Austell, GA
Mill ruins.
Aug 9, 2016 near Austell, GA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 1 day ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2020
Michael Foy
Great trail fun climbing the rocks 4mi
Sep 20, 2020
Desiree Foy
Jun 21, 2020
Victoria Gradel
3.2mi — 1h 45m
Apr 27, 2020
Jessie Holloway
Sep 15, 2019
Penny Clower
Jun 2, 2019
Fredi Alv
5mi
Feb 16, 2019
Ashley Keim