Located off I-75 in middle Georgia, Indian Springs is thought to be the oldest state park in the nation. It was acquired by the state in 1825 and became an official "State Forest Park" in 1927. The Creek Indians used the springs for centuries to heal the sick and impart extra vigor to the well. During the 1800s, the area was a bustling resort town. Today, visitors can still sample the spring water while enjoying the parks cottages, camping, swimming, fishing and boating. Many structures within the park, such as the spring house, were built during the Great Depression by members of FDRs Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). A museum (hours limited) highlights Creek Indians, the resort era and CCC history. The park's Lake McIntosh is named for the Creek Chief William McIntosh who, in 1825, signed the illegal Treaty of Indian Springs, deeding Indian land to the state of Georgia. He was soon assassinated by his people for treason.
We moved to the area recently from North GA, felt just like up there hardly and people on a Sat afternoon. If you want a longer hike- keep going to the nature center. There is water, restrooms, and an awesome "zoo" to walk. Our total distance was 8.2 miles with 410 elevation gain out and back. It is well shaded the whole way. This will be our new weekend hike!
This trail is a lot longer than .8 miles. After 3.4 miles it connects with Dauset Trails. At that point you can turn around and head back to your vehicle or continue and come out eventually at the Dauset trail head. Beautiful trail, well marked. Park in the field before the first entrance to the park for the trail head. Entrance is at the tree line.
I'm not sure why the description above says it is a 0.8 mile out and back trail. Maybe that is old information or maybe they are only referring to the section within the park boundaries. In truth This is a 3.5 mile hiking and biking trial that connects to the trail system at Dauset Trails. It is a very nice ride and an relatively easy family-friendly hike. There are beautiful lake views with some very nice bridges. If hiking I might suggest leaving one vehicle at Indian Springs and one at Dauset Trails, but of course, that won't work if you are by yourself. Besides, on the trip back you will notice a lot of things you missed on the trip out, and seven easy miles aren't that great a challenge, but are well worth it.