Hike the White Loop at Sweetwater Creek
Georgia › White Loop Trailhead
Added by Alan Maxcy
This 4.1-mile hike is only 25 min from Downtown Atlanta. Explore the New Manchester Mill ruins and take in scenic views of white-water filled Sweetwater Creek.
Sweetwater Creek State Park offers a breath of fresh air and beautiful sights only 15 miles from Atlanta. The park has 9 miles of trails to choose from. The shortest of the three trails is the Red Trail (1 mile, one-way). After a half mile you will arrive at the impressive 5 story New Manchester Mill ruins. New Manchester was a mid-nineteen century mill town that was burned down in the Civil War. These ruins appeared in the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 when Jennifer Lawrence leaves District 13 to go hunting. After the mill you will continue south along the creek until you dead end into the white trail.
From here you can decide to turn back the way you came or complete the White Trail Loop. The White Trail is a 5 mile loop (you have already completed 1 mile on the Red Trail at this point) that highlights the park's wildlife and plant communities. Along this trail you will have opportunities to bird watch, enjoy the views of Jack's Lake, and learn about the different types of vegetation that are all clearly marked with signs along the way.
If you want to go on a hike that is in between these two distances there is a Green Trail that effectively cuts the White Trail loop in half making a 3 mile loop option. Between these three trails there are many other combinations of routes to take during your hike in Sweetwater Creek State Park.
Be sure to bring $5 cash for a parking pass or you can buy an annual for pass for all of the Georgia's State Parks for $50.
- Water Bottle
- Day Pack
- Hiking/Trail shoes
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Cool river views, uninteresting inner section
Sweetwater Creek State Park is really beautiful and the fact that it is so close to the city makes it an easy escape. The White Loop is a nice and easy hike that offers great scenic views of the river and old manufacturing mill. However, the interior of this loop after it deviates from the river is not so interesting. There are some mild uphill and downhill sections, but most of the back side of the trail is close enough to the road that you can still hear the cars and you are actually hiking along unpaved service roads for some of this way too. This just left me feeling like there was not much to see and not much immersion in nature for this half of the trail. If I were to do this again, I would just take the red trail out and back along the river. With that said, the part of the White Loop that is shared with the Red Trail is really spectacular, so this trail definitely has its benefits. The river section is much like some of the creeks and rivers further north in the mountains.
Great Weekend Hike
This is one of my go-to places when I want a quick hike that I don't have to drive to the mountains for. The views are gorgeous and you can see a variety of plants and wildlife. The trails aren't usually busy past the mill ruins and are very well kept. This moderate (depending on level of fitness) trail is perfect for a peaceful hike!
Sweetwater Creek Is Sweet
It's nothing absolutely spectacular but it's a beaut on its own, especially nestled in southwest Atlanta. The trails are fairly easy and nice. During the summer, it's nice to hammock along the creek and wade in the waters to cool off. But as always, be wary of snakes!
Very beautiful scenery. The river and all the rocks are amazing. There is also a small waterfall near Jake's lake if you look for it. Also Jake's lake had a very peaceful spot to just relax on the grass. Whiteloop is about 5 miles with different types of terrain and scenery along the way. River, calm lake, meadows.
Easy, Beautiful, and Fun Hike
Short: Easy Hike - Beautiful in the Fall - Lots of rain makes for a different, yet fun hike - Would recommend for those in the area Full: The hike around the trail is beautiful. I had the pleasure of going in the fall so I was able to see the leaves changing, but this sadly made it so that I was not able to get myself *very* wet. I went shortly after a substantial rain which raised the water level far beyond what is normal, the result being that the creek was encroaching upon some spots on the trail. This gave the hike an aesthetic that you wouldn't normally have at the lower water level. The ruins of the Mill are cool to check out, from a short distance away, since they are fenced to keep people out (Unless on a park guided tour). The hike itself is easy, great for all ages, highly accessible under normal circumstances. (High waters could make certain points of the trail difficult for anyone with limited mobility. eg. elderly, handicapped, or small children in strollers) I look forward to returning for another day-adventure here this summer!
As you travel down the trail, there are some fairly large rocks that we skipped out onto in the creek. This was a wonderful place to just sit back and take in our surroundings. Plus, because this can be a heavily traveled path, this was a great way to separate from the crowd of people and have a moment to ourselves. I would recommend really good shoes for this because naturally the rocks can be slippery.
Added by Alan Maxcy
Hi! I am a self-taught photographer who specializes in landscape, lifestyle, and portrait photography. My wife and I are obsessed with tacos, craft beer, and traveling the world. My favorite photos are the ones that inspire me to go on an adventure. That is the affect I want my photography to have on others.Follow
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