|Trail Length: 1.8 miles||Type of trail: In and out|
|County: Fulton County, GA||Our rating: E|
|Features: waterfalls, stream, river, picnicking, historic, fishing, family, 60hikes||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: October 08, 2004|
|Last hiked: December 05, 2010||Updated on: June 08, 2016|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Fulton County, GA
Oxbo Trail combines a level, stream side walk with an energetic climb to Roswell's first city park. The trail also provides secondary access to the Vickery Creek Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The trail's proximity to Atlanta, easy access, coupled with the fact that it is packed with fun things for kids to see and explore, makes this an excellent trail for a family outing.
Oxbo Trail Description
From the gravel parking make your way to the riverside trail and turn right. The trail crosses a small stream and begins a short moderate climb through a kudzu patch to Sloan Street. Across the street from the trail entrance is a playground with a sitting area for parents. Down Sloan St. to the right, The Bricks, which may be the oldest apartments in the Southeast. Built for managers of Roswell Mill in 1839, the Bricks now house an upscale eatery. Access to the Old Roswell Mill, which use to be on Sloan Street is now around the corner at Roswell Mill.
Turn around and head back to the parking lot, passing it as the road parallels the stream / river. Vickery Creek is named for a mixed-blood Cherokee woman who owned the property at the headwaters of the river in Forsyth County. Settlers began calling the stream "Big Creek," thus giving the stream two names.
Walking with the river on your right there are a number of trails to Vickery Creek that allow access for fishermen along the gravel road (actually, its a sewer easement). The trail turns to concrete at 0.4 miles, bearing left and making a short climb. On the right at the end of the climb is a bridge across Vickery Creek with an excellent view of a dam across the river. Continue across the bridge to access the Vickery Creek unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Return to Oxbo Road and carefully cross this busy street. Almost directly in front of you is the entrance to the Hog Waller Creek portion of the trail. The trail bears left as you enter a deciduous forest which was the site of the Oxbow Manufacturing Company. Built in 1896 by J. H. Waller, the plant used water from Hog Waller Creek to power its looms. When electricity replaced water as the predominant (and more economical) power source, the Oxbow Manufacturing Company did not have the money to refit and closed in 1913.
As the trail begins a short moderate climb alongside Waller Creek notice the dam on the left. This may be the dam which powered Waller's mill. As the easy to moderate climb continues turn left at the first bridge, then right at the end of the bridge. Shortly on the left is an intricate stone wall with multiple sets of steps, which lead to additional parking on Oak Street. This parking is frequently full, since it also is used by people visiting the baseball field in Waller Park. A descendant of Waller's donated the land to Fulton County, who built the park then gave the land to Roswell. Explore the steps and Hog Waller park if you wish.
Notice that the sharp drop of the creek (and the path) has moderated, becoming an easy climb for the rest of the trail, now in a steep-sided gully. Return to the trail and turn left, or continue straight if you did not visit the park. The steps up were originally built to connect Hog Waller Park to an upstream riverside picnic area. As you approach the picnic area, the right bank of the creek becomes solid rock, a testament to the power of the river. The picnic area uses large capstones to create picnic tables and a grill and now stands quietly along the banks of Waller Creek.
A second bridge returns you to the opposite bank of the creek where a moderate climb brings the trail past the VFW Hall to a Roswell city government building with additional parking. Cross the road (Dobbs Dr.) passing to the left of the building. At the back of the building turn right on an unnamed paved road. This road passes two baseball fields and splits into three roads - a parking lot to the left, a maintenance shed to the right and Oxbo Trail parking straight ahead. An overhead sign similar to the one at your starting point designates the trail and you quickly pass into a hardwood/pine forest surrounding a dirt road.
The trail makes an easy descent, becoming more moderate near the road. At the bottom the trail crosses Oxbo Road again. Turn right as you return to Vickery Creek. Follow this wide trail back to your car.