Sope Creek: A Hike, a Creek, and an Old Mill

I was looking for another spot in Atlanta to hike while also hitting some waterway AND hitting history after having enjoyed going to Sweetwater Creek and to Island Ford (on the Chattahoochee River).  Tall order, huh?  NOT in Atlanta!  Plenty of spots along creeks and rivers to find great hiking and reminders of the life in the South back when mills ruled the day.  Enter, stage left, Sope Creek.

I am training for hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain with Trekking for Kids, an organization that took me to Transylvania’s “Alps” in Romania and to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.   As part of my training, I want to do more than Kennessaw Mountain or Stone Mountain.  So after some research and talking to friends, I discovered the many trails that are right within 15 miles of the city, like Island Ford, for example.

But on another weekend, I wanted to try something new.  I was taking friends’ kids out on this hike so it also had to be friendly enough for me and three other kids 🙂  That’s when a co-worker recommended Sope Creek, a creek where a Civil War era mill use to operate and whose ruins you can not only see but also get up close and personal with!

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War, Paper Mill Road, rapids

The old mill ruins

The kids, aged 14, 10, and 8, were excited to come for the hike.  I decided to take the longer way to the creek so that the “hard work” took place before we saw the creek and the mill which I figured would be the highlight of the hike.

Sope Creek, Paper Mill, Atlanta, Georgia, hiking, kids, lake, colorful, photo, travel

Early on the hike, we ran into a small lake.

The park has both hiking-only trails and hiking/biking trails so we did have to keep our eyes and ears open to approaching bikes but the mountain bikers were pretty much nice and careful which we appreciated.  The trails are well-signed and the younger kids enjoyed trying to figure out which way to with the map and the signage while the older kid and I allowed ourselves to be guided.

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War

Tadpoles in our midst!

The trail approached the creek by going almost parallel to it but up high.  It was a nice view and trail which then went away from the creek for a little bit.  We ended up crossing a trickle of a creek right after spotting three deer.

Eventually, we made it to the old mill and the creek.

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War

Looking south

The kids explore the ruins of the mill and then proceeded to walk towards the large rocks at the edge of the creek.

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War, Paper Mill Road, rapids

Kids climbing around the old mill ruins

It was fun climbing and walking on the rocks.

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War, Paper Mill Road, rapids

Two of the three climbing around the rocks

We hung there for a little bit enjoying the scenery and the climbing.  It was also a great spot for pictures and for a snack.

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War, Paper Mill Road, rapids

I love this shot: She looks Photoshopped in!

All that done, we proceeded to exit the park by following the trail that is parallel to the road.  It deviated from the road a little bit because the trail was under repair but it was easy to make it back to the parking lot.

After the hike, we were hungry and the kids had asked for Cracker Barrel (they love it because I keep calling it Crate & Barrel, accidentally!).  It was the perfect ending for a great hike!  The kiddos are definitely hikers and explorers!

Sope Creek, Atlanta, hiking, tadpoles, nature, outdoors, Georgia, old mill, Civil War, Paper Mill Road, rapids

Yours truly

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Read about these other great hikes in Georgia:

Panther Creek

Sweetwater Creek

Island Ford

Tallulah Gorge

… and more to come!

Comments

  1. Are you available for tours?!

  2. Sounds like a very enjoyable time! Glad I found your site my friend 🙂
    JP recently posted..The “Dali Museum” – St. Petersburg, FloridaMy Profile

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