We're lucky the state set aside SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK
33 years ago, because it's quickly getting surrounded by Douglas County's sprawl. Sweetwater, which is just west of Six Flags, packs a lot into its 2,500 acres: A nature trail runs by the ruins of the New Manchester mill (which was destroyed by Sherman's troops in 1864) and onto a bluff overlooking the creek (which offers a difficult kayak run in high water). There's even a beautiful little lake for fishing, rowing and canoeing -- plus rental boats, picnic tables, you name it.
Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs. 770-389-7275 http://gastateparks.org/