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Duluth Massage

Vickery Creek Trail Complex
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 6.3 miles Type of trail: In and out
County: Fulton County, GA Our rating: E
Features: stream, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: February 15, 2004
Last hiked: February 15, 2004 Updated on: September 11, 2011
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Fulton County, GA

Directions to Vickery Creek Trail Complex

This well-maintained trail complex explores a high, broad knoll along the Chattahoochee River North of Atlanta, east of Highway 9 (South Atlanta St.) It is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, created by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. At one time the paths were multi-use, but mountain bikes are now prohibited from using this trail.

There are two separate "Vickery Creek Trails." The first explores the remains of the old Roswell mill and is on the west bank of Vickery Creek. It is owned by the city of Roswell. Vickery Creek Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a more substantial hike that includes two historic buildings (Allenbrook and Ivy Mill), historic roads, and an area on both sides of Vickery Creek north of the Chattahoochee River. These are connected via a covered bridge near the entrance to the mill.

Vickery Creek, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Flowing south from Forsyth County, Vickery Creek formed on the property of a mixed-blood Cherokee woman named Vickery. She was forced to move west with the rest of the Cherokee Nation when Georgia removed them on a forced march known today as "Trail of Tears. The creek name, which settlers called "Big Creek," is her lasting legacy.

Vickery Creek Hiking

To enter the trail complex walk to the north end of the parking area on Riverside Road. After .1 miles the path splits. Directly in front of you the path goes to the bottom of a bluff. This narrow path, which is fairly dangerous for young children has been closed for quite some time. We recommend obeying the posted signs.

Dog patiently at Vickery Creek Unit of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area
Turning right at the marked path after .1 miles begins the climb to the top of the unnamed knoll on which the trail complex is based. This single-switch trail is .5 miles of moderate hiking, and it is one of only two moderate trails in the complex. As you climb the 300 feet to the top of the knoll, one of the historic trails cross-cuts the path at about 90 degrees. Watch closely for it, as it is easily overlooked. Just north of the site of the old Roswell Covered Bridge, this road veered right and provided access to the Roswell Mill.

As you gain the top of the ridge, the access trail dead-ends into the nearly 2.0 mile trail that circumnavigates the knoll. This is an excellent hike, mostly level, with a couple of scenic views on the north side of the knoll down into the gorge formed by Vickery Creek. This narrative is told in walking the trails in a county-clockwise direction, so turn right when you reach the top. As you are walking this main trail, an easy rule of thumb: Until Vickery Creek gorge is reached, trails coming off to the right are short access trails to neighborhoods. Trails on the left crossover the top of the knoll.

As the trail comes to Grimes Bridge Road it turns left, easily rising and falling a couple of small hills. At a mapstand, a short trail comes off to the right that leads down to a bridge that crosses Vickery Creek and ends at the Oxbo Trail. After this intersection the trail curves left and narrows as it follows the curve of the knoll to the Roswell Mill dam.

Hikers (and historians) can also turn left at the dead-end of the access trail and come to the Vickery Creek/Big Creek Gorge in .15 miles. Here, the loop trail around the top of the knoll joins the trail for a descent into the gorge. Although it is possible to scramble down the rocks to the dam, there is a much easier developed path to the creek. Continue to the left and at the first intersection turn right on a wide, hard packed road that drops to the river in <.1 miles. This quick, easy descent (which is the second moderate portion of the hike on the return trip) takes you to the spillway dam on Vickery Creek that for many years powered Roswell Mill. It is a pleasurable break to take a few minutes to study the now peaceful area that once was a major target of General William Sherman's Atlanta Campaign

After returning to the top of the knoll, turn right and watch for a path off to the right. This drops sharply to the new covered bridge and the "other" Vickery Creek hiking trail, or just continue straight and the trail will drop to the river. Watch for a trail coming off to the left (this is the return trail), but continue as the pathway bears right and drops to a switchback before curving left and ending at the fast-flowing creek. There's plenty to explore in the floodplain of the creek, just watch the kids again because this footpath also has access to the bluffs, but it, too, has been restricted for years. When you are done, climb back to the return trail you noted on the way down, turn right and climb to the main truck. Turn left and return to the parking lot access trail.

Allenbrook/Ivy Mill hiking area

This small area has just over a mile of hiking trails. Allenbrook, which was the home of the miller for Ivy Mill, is not open to the public, however there is parking in the area. From the parking lot a single-switch trail takes hikers to Vickery Creek, where the bluff on the opposite side of the river is a highlight. On the return trip this hike is easy to moderate.

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Vickery Creek Trail Complex
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Chattahoochee River
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Forsyth County
North of Atlanta
old Roswell mill

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