Hike this moderate, 3 mile loop to two historic mills, a covered bridge, and a historic dam waterfall on Big Creek near Roswell, Georgia.
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The Vickery Creek Trail explores the surrounding rolling forest and steep banks of Big Creek, also known as Vickery Creek, near Roswell, Georgia. It’s one of the many Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area parks near Atlanta, though its trails don’t follow the banks of the Chattahoochee. Instead, this hike explores several historic mills and a dam on a Chattahoochee tributary, rolling through beautiful forest and catching views of the rushing dam waterfall from a steep, carved rock bluff.
The trail departs the Riverside Road trailhead (view driving directions), hiking upstream along Vickery Creek and truning right at the first trail intersection. (The trail departing left that previously hiked Big Creek Gorge is closed due to erosion.) The trail switches back, passing through a series well-marked intersections and rolling elevation, following the outer loop trail at each intersection. The trail passes the Grimes Bridge Road trailhead, hiking .5 mile to a junction on trail right, turning here to explore the modern dam on Big Creek.
The trail departs the dam, retracing steps to the Vickery Creek loop trail and turning right at the intersection to continue the loop. The hike continues straight at the next trail intersection, following the flow of Big Creek downstream as it slices through the terrain. A side trail departs trail right after a short descent, and the hike turns here to explore the massive, historic Big Creek dam from a tall bluff alongside its rushing, tumbling waters. This spillway dam was a valuable asset to the South during the Civil War, having powered the mill wheel that was built downstream at the now abandoned mill ruins.
The hike returns from the dam on the side trail, hiking right at the trail junction to continue the outer loop. The trail follows Vickery Creek as it flows through the sharply carved, steep walls of the canyon, the sounds of the rushing water audible throughout this stretch of the trail. The hike turns right at the next trail junction, crossing the covered bridge spanning Big Creek to explore the ruins of two historic mills on the opposite bank.
From the covered bridge and historic mill, the hike retraces its steps to the Vickery Creek loop trail, following signs to return to the Riverside Road trailhead and parking area and completing the hike at just over 3 miles.
Parking: $3 daily fee, or included with a Chattahoochee National Recreation Area annual pass
34.007758,-84.351185 (N34 00.465 W84 21.071)
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