This Atlanta trail makes for a very quick, short hike around the Civil-War era paper mill ruins and a quaint pond.
Sope Creek Park is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, but unlike most of out hikes, this hike did not take us on the Chattahoochee. Since the trail is a nice loop, you can start either by going by the pond first or by the ruins. We chose to start with the ruins.
The trail departs the parking lot with a nice downhill hike through the forest, following close along Paper Mill Road for a moment before reaching the paper mill ruins at .5 miles. The mill was built in the 1850s and was destroyed in the Civil War by Union troops. The mill was incorporated by Marietta Paper Mills in 1859 and included a mill, oil room, office, mill sluice, storeroom, dam, machine shop, pulp-grinding mill, and two shelters. What’s left of the walls and foundation stand castle-like over the trickling Sope Creek.
The hike follows the path around the ruins, or through the ruins if you want to have a little fun, and continues along the bank of the creek. The trail departs Sope Creek following a tributary creek uphill to trail marker 6. Keep left at this trail marker to follow the winding trail through the forest to trail marker 7. The hike keeps right to follow the path to Sibley Pond, a popular and scenic fishing spot.
You can then follow the trail around the entire pond or keep to the gravel “easy” path to head back toward the parking lot, depending on how much walking you’re in the mood for, completing a quick 1 mile to 1.5 mile hike.
What’s your favorite hike in Atlanta? Tell me in the comments!