Hike the Vickery Creek trail network at Roswell Mill to two historic mills, a covered bridge, and a spillway waterfall in Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
A covered bridge. Civil war mill ruins. A towering waterfall that pours from a historic spillway dam. There’s just a lot to love about the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill: it’s scenic, shady, and makes a great in-town hike or moderate trail run.
This five-mile adventure explores the historic Roswell Mill and the surrounding rolling forest in Roswell, Georgia. It’s one of the best hikes in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area parks near Atlanta, though its trails don’t follow the actual banks of the Chattahoochee River. Instead, this hike explores the historic remains of Roswell Mill and visits the mill’s spillway dam waterfall on a Chattahoochee River tributary. The 5+ mile trail network hikes through beautiful, rolling forest and catches views of the rushing dam waterfall from a steep rock bluff.
It’s one of our favorite trails in metro Atlanta: its rolling trails make for a great trail run, Roswell Mill’s historic mill ruins are a must-see for Southern history buffs, and the park’s wooden covered bridge and spillway waterfall are fully photo-worthy.
Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill: the hike
The trail departs a trailhead on Riverside Road in Roswell (view driving directions), hiking upstream along Vickery Creek and hanging a right at the first trail intersection. The trail switches back, passing through a series well-marked intersections and following the outer loop trail at each intersection.
The trail rolls elevation through a young, ferny forest, crossing several small creeks. The trail crosses through a number of intersections, marked by maps and numbered waypoints. For simplicity, follow the outer loop at every intersection, hiking the waypoints in the following order to the waterfall and mill: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 25, 18, 17, 16. Check out the park’s official trail map for more details.
The hike crosses a wooden bridge at 2.5 miles. The sound of falling water echoes through the forest as the trail rises high above the creek. At waypoint 16, the hike hangs a right to visit the southern bank of the Roswell Mill waterfall from a tall, rocky bluff. This spillway dam was a valuable asset to the South during the Civil War, powering Roswell Mill on the opposite creek bank.
Departing the waterfall, the hike treks to waypoint 11, reaching the covered bridge at 3 miles. The view from the bridge upstream is beautiful, as Vickery Creek cascades over a rocky creek bed.
Reaching the end of the covered bridge, the hike hangs a right, following the trail eastbound and passing a historic brick machine shop. The trail reaches the ruins of the old Roswell Mill, looping around the mill, the old rusted mill chase, and catching an up-close view of the dam waterfall and spillway waterfall from the creek’s northern bank.
Vickery Creek flows over a rocky, grassy creek bed downstream from the waterfall. The creek’s north bank is a perfect place to relax, soak up the beauty of the falls, and watch for wildlife, including heron and geese.
Departing the mill ruins and waterfall, the hike backtracks to the covered bridge and crosses the creek. On the opposite bank, the hike follows the trail back to the trailhead, hanging a left at waypoint 11, hanging a right at waypoint 18, and turning right at waypoint 4. The hike reaches the trailhead at 4.7 miles, completing the adventure.
Nearby Chattahoochee River hiking adventures
Up for some more mileage and classic beauty? Explore a tranquil, wildlife-filled lake and the river’s glassy flow on the Gold Branch Trail at Bull Sluice Lake. Grab a great hike or trail run on our top ten trails on the ‘Hooch near Atlanta. Or check out our Chattahoochee River map for even more great adventures on our city’s scenic waterway.
Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.
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$5 day pass, or included with a Chattahoochee River NRA annual pass.
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