Sweetwater Creek Red, White, and Yellow Trails is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lithia Springs, GA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Civil War Ruins, Secluded Ponds, Waterfalls; listed as "difficult" due to rocky and steep terrain for short sections of RED trail. WHITE trail is mostly roadbed. Changed name from Woody's Gap which is an AT trailhead in Suches, GA on HWY60. Sweetwater Creek State Park has over nine miles of hiking trails and is located only a short distance from downtown Atlanta. The Sweetwater Creek Conservation Park was created to preserve the unique natural and cultural history of the area and this hike along the creek includes a trip to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. The mill made clothing for the Confederate troops during the Civil War before it was burned by General Sherman in 1864. Along the creek (which looks more like a river), there are numerous overlooks including one of Sweetwater Falls located at the junction of the red and white trails.
It was fun. We took the red to the white and then finished on the yellow. We saw a lot of wildlife.
If you do the full Yellow, Red, and White trails, this actually comes out to be about 9 miles.
Started on the Yellow trail (3 miles, 300 ft elevation gain) as a nice warmup to the longer red/white combination. The yellow trail starts to the left and climbs quickly before leveling off with a more gradual return down along a creek back to the starting point. A beautiful bridge over the creek just before the climb makes for great photo ops - otherwise there isn't much to see during the Yellow Trail. Return back to the starting point to hike the red and white trail. The red trail passes the old New Manchester Mill ruins which provides a great background with the rocks and weak rapids in the creek for photos. Pause here to climb out onto the rocks for a snack or to cool off in the water! Return back to the red trail and then link to the white trail for the 5 mile loop. The white trail has some nice views of the creek and a small "canyon" about halfway through the loop, followed by a flat trail along the creek before climbing "jack's hill" back to the top of the ridge. This hill is gradual but long, and will get your legs pumping. Otherwise, the trail is pretty easy.
Be alert as the trail has been eroded away by rainfall leaving lots of exposed roots which can be easy to trip over, along with many rocks and quick steps. At times the trail crosses over other trails, and its not blazed very well so be alert to not lose the trail. Otherwise this is a great way to spend 3-4 hours! Some great views, some elevation, a workout, and a place to cool off in the creek. You'd never know you were so close to Atlanta!
My family loves this park.
I've walked this trail dozens and dozens of times. Sadly, I moved away from the area and it's no longer my go-to weekend and after-work trail!! My body shows it, too! This trail isn't for the faint of heart. It has a great balance of high intensity up-hill (almost rock climbing) areas with flat areas to balance. The views are magnificent and the nature is spectacular. bring plenty of water and prepare to feel the burn!
I is a moderate trail with some difficult parts. Also good running paths. It was a beautiful trail overall. Will definitely come back.
Loved this combo (Red/White) Thanks for the advice on it :) Happy Trails!!
The red trail is absolutely gorgeous.
It was a nice little trail for a run - did the loop in about 42 minutes and ran along the red/white trails. Well marked, and a few somewhat challenging spots. I would have rated this easy to moderate rather than the moderate to difficult that the park map states. Overall - a great run.
Nice hike. Bring something to get wet in. Not too crowded even on a Sunday. Did the red white trail and it was always scenic. Started on white and ended on red and I would recommend that way, saving the best for last with the rapids and Manchester mill ruins. Would have loved to have gone wading but didn't have the right gear with me.
That last incline is a killer
Absolutely beautiful! Only downside....very busy park.