Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Atlanta Hiking Trails

Hiking Sweetwater Creek State Park

Hike Sweetwater Creek State Park’s fantastic running and hiking trails near Atlanta, exploring a rushing, whitewater-filled creek, Civil War mill ruins and a beautiful, rolling forest.

Grab some fresh air and cardio in a beautiful forest filled with whitewater, waterfalls, and historic ruins: Sweetwater Creek State Park offers all the beauty of a North Georgia outdoor adventure, but without a long drive from Atlanta. The wide-flowing Sweetwater Creek tumbles in churning whitewater, slicing through a rolling forest just outside the city limits. The creek’s boulder-filled bed and rocky, sandy shores make for some of the best hiking and trail running near Atlanta: it’s one of our all-time favorite hiking destinations, with over nine miles of well-groomed trails that meander through acres of scenic beauty.

Sweetwater Creek State Park, located just outside Atlanta’s western perimeter, spans over 2500 acres of creekside landscape. It’s a great near-city destination for a family hike, some quiet time in nature or a pulse-raising trail run, with mile after mile of tumbling whitewater, wildlife-filled forest, wildflowers, and history. The park’s landscape varies widely and changes regularly on its meandering trails, hiking both cliff-filled and sandy creek shores, expansive meadows and densely shaded forest.

Thanks to its proximity to the city, this Georgia State Park has achieved popularity worthy of its beauty. Expect heavy traffic on the park’s popular trails, especially on sunny weekends and holidays.

Hike Sweetwater Creek State Park's fantastic running and hiking trails near Atlanta, exploring a rushing, whitewater-filled creek, Civil War mill ruins and a beautiful, rolling forest. #hiking #running #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Sweetwater Creek State Park trails: our favorite hikes

Hike our favorite trails at the park to score some of the best outdoor adventures near Atlanta. Check them out one by one, or combine several trails to hike some extended mileage and explore more of the park’s incredible terrain:

More Sweetwater Creek adventures

Explore the park’s wildlife-filled, grassy lake shore by kayak or canoe. Paddle the glassy waters of Sweetwater Creek’s reservoir lake by stand-up paddleboard. Camp in the park’s brand new campground with modern facilities, or overnight in style in Sweetwater Creek’s new yurt village. Find more ideas for adventure in our Sweetwater Creek State Park destination guide.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.