Hike the Heritage Park Trail to explore historic mill ruins and a covered bridge. This easy hike takes you through wetlands and along the banks of a bustling creek.
About Heritage Park
Heritage Park is a 105-acre nature preserve located on the border of Smyrna and Mableton just 15 miles outside of Atlanta.
The park has a single hiking trail through wetlands and along the banks of Nickajack Creek that connects to the Silver Comet Trail. The park is also home to the well-preserved ruins of the Concord Woolen Mill.
You can find picnic tables, restrooms, and educational nature programs at the park’s entrance at the corner of Fontaine Road and Nickajack Road. Heritage Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Hiking the Heritage Park Trail
The hike departs from the trailhead at the Heritage Park entrance. The trail descends through a switchback before crossing a long boardwalk over the wetlands.
When the boardwalk ends, the hike turns left to continue on a well-marked but unpaved trail along the banks of Nickajack Creek.
Concord Woolen Mill Ruins
The trail reaches the Concord Woolen Mill ruins at about 1.7 miles. The crumbling bricks of the ruins are held together with large steel beams that show how the mill would have looked in its hey-day.
To the right of the largest mill ruins, two paved trails run up to connect with the Silver Comet Trail. One paved trail is steep and pretty much a straight shot to the Silver Comet Trail; the other is a series of switchbacks that are more accessible.
Near the paved trails, you’ll find a map showing how the mill building would have been laid out, though you can’t see many of the ruins listed anymore.
Technically, the Heritage Park Trail ends here where the trail connects with the Silver Comet Trail. But the map shows a trail that continues past the ruins and outside of the park to connect to the Silver Comet Trail Concord Road parking lot.
Concord Covered Bridge
This part of the trail also takes you past rushing rapids on the creek, a remaining structure from Ruff’s Grist Mill, and the Concord Covered Bridge that crosses over the creek.
It’s only about an extra 0.3 miles of a hike, and it’s well worth it.
Where the trail meets the road, you can read a historic marker about the Battle of Ruff’s Mill. The remains of Ruff’s Grist Mill are on private property, however, and aren’t open to the public.
Carefully cross the street and you can read a historic marker about the Concord Covered Bridge. This is the only covered bridge still used on a public highway in Atlanta. It’s also the busiest covered bridge in the state of Georgia.
From here, follow the trail back to the Heritage Park entrance to complete your hike at about 4 miles.
Nearby Hiking Trails
Looking for more hiking trails in Atlanta? Check out more of these amazing Georgia hikes:
- Sweetwater Creek Yellow and Orange Trails
- Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trails
- Cochran Shoals Trail
Ready to visit Smyrna, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Smyrna using Hotels.com.
- Save on Attractions: Save 40% on admission to Atlanta’s top attractions using the Atlanta CityPASS.
Have you hiked the Heritage Park Trail? Let me know in the comments.