Hike the White Loop at Sweetwater Creek

White Loop Trailhead

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.

Pack List

  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Day Pack
  • Hiking/Trail shoes
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RT Distance 4.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 250 Feet
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

Beautiful Day Hike Close To Atlanta

Can get quite crowded on the weekends, but so convenient to Atlanta it's worth dealing with more people. Dog friendly.

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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