Drive 15 miles west from downtown, shrug off Douglasville's glancing blow and a serene lake welcomes you to 2,000 acres of thick woods and tumbling Sweetwater Creek. Ideal for a half-day escape close to town, this hilly swatch of wilderness favors hikers and anglers--save the frisbee and football for Piedmont Park. With genuine Civil War ruins and teeming wildlife, Sweetwater is a quiet alternative to Stone Mountain or the Chattahoochee River.
Four loop trails offer nine miles of hiking. The Red Trail, the easiest one, is a one-mile jaunt that visits a 19th-century textile mill and an overlook of the creek's rapids. After that, the two-mile Blue Trail completes an easy stroll back to your car, while the three-mile White Trail continues on for a more challenging, scenic loop. Want a workout? Try the steep, three-mile Yellow Trail on the other side of the creek.