Morgan Falls Overlook Park

Sitting on the Dock of the Sluice Map
From Morgan Falls Overlook Park

New Parks get me excited. Especially, when they are done well, have something significant to offer, and are located terrifically close to me. Now, this doesn’t mean I get around to seeing them right away, but it does make my list of things to do. The freshly minted city of Sandy Springs (2005) unveiled a newly minted park in late Summer of 2010. So when I had a little time to on my hands, I made my way over to the Morgan Falls Overlook Park.

Now, the park is rather small at 35 acres, but the planners did a lot with a little bit of space. There’s a rather impressive playground and picnic pavilion, but that wouldn’t be the chief reason for the park. The place’s centerpiece is the splendid view of Bull Sluice Lake on the Chattahoochee. In order to enjoy the view, Sandy Springs has erected about a dozen or so bench swings, that make for a great spot to sit and watch the water or the sunset above the Trees.

But there’s more. In building the park, they uncovered the remains of an old homestead, once belonging to the Powers Family. The home had a massive chimney that was kept intact and perches regally near the edge of the small peninsula. So you get some ruins on a picturesque backdrop. Additionally, there is a small floating dock, which gives a good place to fish or to launch your canoe to explore Bull Sluice. The Georgia Tech Kayak Club calls this place home now.

And there’s a little hiking opportunity. There is a paved trail that runs along the lake. It can’t be more than ¼ mile, and runs from swings to chimney, down some stairs, along the pier, and then along the water back to the parking lot. There is also a short compact dirt hiking trail that may be a little difficult to find. It runs up and down the bluff and the entrances are at the street side of the parking lot as you enter or at the backside of the pavilion by the horseshoe rink. For such a short walk, it is decent exercise because of the incline. There are three places marked as overlooks on the trail, but the best view is either of the parking lot at one end, or just above the pavilion on the other. The overlooks may improve in parts of the year with less leaves on the trees. You could very easily combine these two trails to get a very competent 1 mile trail, very near home.

So if you are looking for pretty place for a nice walk without the expenditure of too much time, Sandy Springs overlook park serves up a welcome quick retreat. A few quick notes: First, to reach the park you drive down Morgan Falls road which is unpaved, in poor condition, and may actually make you think you missed your turn. Second, the Morgan Falls Dam is around the bend to the South and the falling water is not visible from this location. And, finally, because of its proximity to the people of the city, there may be few opportunities to be alone with your thoughts.

Trail Essentials
Approximate Time: 15-30 minutes
Approximate Distance: 1 mile
Features: Lake and River Views, Ruins

Overall Rating: B-

Scenic Quality: B+
Athleticism: C+
Solitude: C
Value: A
Parking: Free
Hours of Operation: Daylight, not exactly sure
Facilities: At Park
Maps: not needed, at entrance to park
County: Fulton

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