Freeman's Mill Park

Gwinnett’s Newest Park Map
From Freeman's Mill Park
I live and work in Gwinnett County and have come to expect big things from the Gwinnett County Parks department: they have given us spectacular greenspaces in the past, including Little Mulberry Park , Tribble Mill Park, & McDaniel Farm Park. So I was excited to learn a year ago that the county had purchased (from SPLOST funds by the Georgia Greenspace Program) an old historic gristmill less than 5 miles from my place of business and planned a new park with the mill as the centerpiece. The purchase was for 12 acres and the mill, which is puny by Gwinnett standards, but their track record helped maintain my high hopes. That park is now open to the public and has been since the beginning of 2010 and its called Freeman‘s Mill Park .

Freeman’s Mill, which is also known as Alcovy Mill or Swann’s Mill, was the last working gristmill in the area, operating as recently as 1996. The mill sits a stone’s throw off Alcovy Road (address 1401 Alcovy Road), as a pleasant reminder of things past. It was built in the years just after the Civil War, by the Loveless brothers, owned later by W. Scott Freeman for whom the park and the mill is named (To explain the other names: it was purchased by Lewis Swann in 1946 and sits on the Alcovy river). There are stories of an earlier origin and the mill’s assistance in Civil War efforts, but that is unconfirmed and may just be folk stories. The last proprietor was a gentleman named Darrell Tuck, who did some refurbishing during his tenure.

As I have said, the park is small. There’s a half mile paved multiuse trail, which has some nice inclines for the roller skater, skateboarder, or young bicyclist, but might be short and dull for the runner or adult biker. They have a nice playground and, of course, water fountains and restroom facilities. But the draw of the park lies on the Southernmost point which is the mill. You can also walk behind the mill, along the mill’s race way, where you get some pretty moving water over the old dam. The future Plans are to build this path up also, which will be a nice addition (its currently dirt and leaves, but worth the effort even without a developed path.

For kids, I think the park delivers superbly. For hikers, not so much. For history buffs, the mill is a gem. I was hoping to see plans for expansion to the South because the park sits not a football field away from what I think is the finest waterfalls in Gwinnett County , but it doesn’t appear that way, at least in the near future. I hope they add more benches and tables to make it a nearby and serene picnicking spot (there‘s a pavilion on the agenda). Note: these photos were taken the first time out with my new camera, so forgive me if they aren’t perfect.


  1. I too live in Gwinnett County (though I work in Newton, for whatever that's worth), and have been eagerly awaiting this park's opening for a few years, since I first passed by the spot on a random drive one Sunday afternoon and thought, "That looks like a pretty cool place."

    I enjoy your blog, and have read through most of your entries. Keep up the good work!

  2. Took my engagement shots here! Love this park!!

  3. I too visited this waterfall, summer 2009 and was blown away by the scenery. We went to check out the mill and heard the water and went searching. We were so amazed by this running waterfall. We could not find any information on this hidden secret. We just went back to the fall since 2009 and saw that it is still not easy to get to. I live five minutes away and hope that the city will developed this site a little more, especially with the addition to the sugarloaf-316 parkway.



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