Atlantans are famous for their OTP vs. ITP rivalry. Ask anyone who has lived in the Atlanta metro area for more than a few weeks, and they’ll tell you that OTPers have to have a reason to head downtown, and when they do, they go to the Dome or the Fox. You may also hear that ITPers think anything beyond Dunwoody is “the sticks” and a trip to Dahlonega takes an entire day.
Whether you’re Team OTP or Team ITP, you’ll want to take full advantage of some of Georgia’s best restaurants, plenty of hiking and a ton of history. Two out of three of those combine at Old Mill Park, an area along Vickery Creek where Roswell’s original cotton mill was established and where remnants and ruins sit today.
I recommend parking at the Old Mill lot close to the covered bridge (follow the signs from Mill Street). Plentiful mounted maps guide you along the site, and you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing sneakers for the journey, which covers areas with stairs, wooden planking and muddy slopes. Some parts of Old Mill Park are handicapped accessible.
Heading left from the parking lot will take you through the twisted remnants of a building original of Roswell Manufacturing Company. Head a little further toward a 30-foot dam, which has water roaring over it because of all the rain northern Fulton County has had this year. Hike a bit further up the patch and you’ll come across the calm area above the dam, a great spot to practice skipping stones.
Heading back down toward the parking lot, your trek will take you to a repurposed mill building where there are clean bathrooms and a beautiful covered bridge that you can cross to continue your journey through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Besides sneakers, make sure you bring your camera when you take your trip to Old Mill Park. It’s a favorite spot in North Georgia for photographers.
Eileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.