|From Roswell Dam|
One of the more interesting and near to the city hikes is the Vickery Creek Unit of the Chattahoochee National Wildlife Reserve (Trail Map Here), or as it is better known the Old Roswell Mill Ruins. It is set in Historic Roswell, behind many now affluent stores and dwellings.
Along the pathway, you will see the remains of the mill, a short waterfall that used to power the factory, and remnants of the water wheels inside other ruins. The area has purposely not be excavated more for the protection of the artifacts themselves.
The Roswell Mill was built in 1836 by Roswell King, who the town and the Mill is named after. He purchased the land from the Cherokees. The factory was known for clothing, especially the Confederate “Roswell Gray” used by the soldiers. General Sherman considered it an important target during the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War. There are signs in a few spots commemorating and relaying this information.
There is also the story of the abduction of all the women and children who were working the mill at the time of the war. Apparently, there were 400 or so such people who were taken by the Union Army and never seen from again. A nice article about this is provided here . There is a monument to this tragedy in Roswell Park.
I think this one has all the things I like about hiking Atlanta, historical significance, beautiful surroundings, cool ruins, solitude (if you get away from the mill), and good exercise. It’s a choice location just outside the perimeter that makes it possible to venture out after work or still do something with the rest of the day.
Approximate Time: as long as 3 hours, just the ruins about 1 hour
Approximate Distance: 1.5 to 4 miles, depending
Trail Surface: Compact Soil, Rocks
Features: River Views, Riverside Walk, Ruins, Waterfalls, Challenging Trail
Overall Rating: B+
Scenic Quality: B
Historic Value: A
Hours of Operation: Open Year Round, Sunlight Hours
Maps: Posted throughout the Pathway, On-line
Directions: click here