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Duluth Massage

Rottenwood Creek Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 3.9 miles Type of trail: In and out
County: Cobb County, GA Our rating: Moderate
Features: stream, river, historic, bathrooms Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: June 08, 2015
Last hiked: October 06, 2015 Updated on: October 19, 2015
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Cobb County, GA


To say the Rottenwood Creek Trail has an identity issue would be a understatement. The 0.4 miles built by Cobb County is known at the Bob Callen Trail. The 1.4 miles in Paces Mill unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area(CRNRA) is known as the Rottenwood Creek Trail and that is the name we use. Even Google has the wrong name on a majority of the trail.

Hardy Pace

Hardy Pace was born in North Carolina in 1785 and moved to Georgia when he was 24, initially settling in Putnam County. He move to Dekalb County in the 1820's. On July 9, 1832, Hardy Pace and others were appointed to do a "feasibility study" on a road from Paces Ferry to a settlement on Sandtown Road. Pace purchased land in Cobb County on the Chattahoochee River that same year. Pace was appointed postmaster of the Paces Ferry post office and held that position until he completed a new home in the town of Crossroads in 1839. When he moved to the home he became the postmaster for the new Crossroads post office. In the 1840 Census he was living in Cobb County. In 1843 Pace purchased the Dekalb side of his ferry from Johnathan W. Hill.

By 1843 the area where Pace lived was generally called Paces and it seems that both names were being replaced by "Vinings Station," the name given to Crossroads after the Western and Atlantic Railroad built a depot in the center of town.

Pace created an industrial area north of the ferry that included a grist mill and a second mill on Rottenwood Creek. This mill was known as Akers Mill for a later owner. His home, a family graveyard, and later a tavern were located near Mount Wilkerson on Pace's Ferry Road, somewhat closer to Paces Ferry than to Paces Mill. The original home was burned during the Civil War and the current house, rebuilt by Hardy's son Solomon is now owned by the Vinings Historic Preservation Society. At one point, Hardy owned 20 slaves.

Rottenwood Creek trail description

From the Paces Mill parking area the start of the trail is clearly visible on the left as you face the Chattahoochee River. A paved trail connects the parking lot to the official trail start, which may account for the variations in mileage for the trail. When we measured the trail in 2014 the distance to the parking lot on Interstate North Parkway was just under 2.0 miles, making this a 4.0 miles roundtrip hike or bike.

The trail is flat for the first 0.3 miles as it crosses under I-75 just south of the I-285 intersection. The Chattahoochee River is visible to the right of the path. The trail curves left, then right before crossing Rottenwood Creek on a steel bridge. Curving left, the entrance to West Palisades (now managed as the Palisades Unit of the CRNRA) is on the left.

Rottenwood Creek originally ran from northwest to southeast, but about 0.4 miles was straitened when construction was being done on I-75 in the late 1960's. At 0.8 the creek gets a much more natural flow as you cross a steel bridge and the creek is now down an embankment on the right. Over the next 0.6 miles the trail can be considered a moderate to difficult climb as Rottenwood Creek Trail rises to I-75. At 1.4 miles the trail is re-designated to the Bob Callen Trail.

Bob Callen trail description

Just before the first Bob Callen Trail sign the climb becomes east to moderate. After the sign the trail begins an easy rolling as it climbs towards Interstate Parkway North. Trails come off on either side to allow nearby apartment building access. The trail then passes under 5 bridges including the always busy I-285.

The trail "T"'s at a small piece of the original Interstate North Parkway. The designation of the Bob Callen Trail is in the parking lot to the right.


Pages related to Rottenwood Creek Trail
Rottenwood Creek Trail
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Article Links
Chattahoochee River
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Cobb County
Western and Atlantic Railroad

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