Trail Run Project Logo

Sweetwater Creek Loop

  4.3 ( 23 ) Favorite


4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer loop
96% Runnable


Ascent: 312' 95 m
Descent: -315' -96 m
High: 1,022' 311 m
Low: 782' 238 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A loop combining the White Trail and Red Trail for all the best that Sweetwater has to offer.

Kristen Arendt

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Park is open 7 am to dark.


This loop at Sweetwater Creek is a great run that can be done in a morning or afternoon. Pack a lunch or snack to enjoy along the creek if you have extra time!


Start this run on the White Trail at the front door of the visitor center. Turn right at the main trailhead to stay on the White Trail (the Red Trail descends to the left). After you enter the forest, the trail will fork. You can go either way, but going right allows you to get a good warm up with gentle inclines. It also allows you to get some of the less-scenic parts out of the way.

After turning right, you'll cross a couple of park roads and eventually end up on an old gravel road. At about a mile, you'll turn left on another gravel road. Follow that all the way to some large fields (great for seeing wildlife in the morning and evening). The White Trail turns right in the fields, continuing southwest. You'll soon be on a rocky doubletrack descent which will take you to a narrower trail nestled in a stream drainage. Keep following the white blazes.

After about 2.3 miles, keep going straight at the intersection with the Brown Trail (where there is a bridge to the right), and you'll eventually end up at Sweetwater Creek. Along the creek, the trail goes through a lot of little rock gardens and there are some easy scrambles over large rock outcroppings. You'll do this for a while until you hit some very steep stairs. Climb the stairs and follow the boardwalk over some steep sections.

Eventually, you'll come to a confusing intersection with the Red Trail. The White Trail goes up the steep, eroded stairs, while the Red Trail goes back towards the river. Turn right onto the Red Trail to head down toward the river. Enjoy a nice photo opportunity as you pass the old ruined mill or head down to the water for a refreshing break before looping back to the visitor center to finish the run.

Flora & Fauna

Chestnuts, oaks, ferns, beech, deer, and copperhead snakes.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Jun 18, 2018
Sean Itrich
Next time will try a combo of white and red 5mi — 0h 50m
Jun 15, 2018
Paul Forte
May 20, 2018
Paul Forte
May 10, 2017
Ted Ogrean
yellow trail 3.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 23 votes


  4.3 from 23 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Run Rankings


in Georgia


152 Views Last Month
3,201 Since Oct 27, 2016



Red Trail follows Sweetwater Creek in its namesake state park.
Feb 26, 2017 near Austell, GA
Ruined mill.
Aug 13, 2016 near Austell, GA
Rocky Sweetwater Creek.
Jul 30, 2016 near Austell, GA
Mill ruins.
Aug 9, 2016 near Austell, GA
The old ruined mill of Sweetwater Creek State Park. Located halfway through the Red Trail.
Jul 31, 2016 near Austell, GA
Blue Heron.
Aug 9, 2016 near Austell, GA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running