Georgia is one of the oldest states in the United States, with some of the longest colonial histories in the country. It has plenty of ghost towns and abandoned settlements to explore. While many may think of ghost towns in an arid Wild West boomtown setting, Georgia is a lush and green state. This means that many of the ghost towns can soon become reclaimed by the forests.
It can be a fun activity to discover the ruins in Georgia hidden and lost in the forests and farmlands around the state. Perhaps one will get Angkor Wat vibes (although nothing in the world is as spectacular as that ancient city lost to the jungles).
Atlanta's Sope Creek Trail & Ruins
One place to see ruins is along the Sope Creek Trail right in the metropolitan area of Atlanta. It makes its way to the ruins of a stacked stone Civil War-era paper mill called the Marietta Paper Mill. The mill was built in 1855 and burned down in 1864.
The old paper mill was destroyed by advancing Union troops during the bloody war (perhaps one will have Gone With The Wind vibes there). The ruins today stand crumpling; they are multi-story and castle-like.
- Length: 1.5 Round Trip
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Ruins: Paper Mill Destroyed In The Civil War
- Park Fees: $5.00
Sope Creek Park is in a high-end area just outside of Atlanta. The views are beautiful as the trail makes its way to a serene pond on the Chattahoochee River. The pond typically has clear water and is the home of turtles and big fish. It is less crowded than some rather busy Atlanta trails.
The Mysterious Fort Mountain Of Fort Mountain State Park
Up in the north of the state of Georgia is the Fort Mountain State Park, which is located between Chatsworth and Ellijay on Fort Mountain. It is located near the stunning Cohutta Wilderness and boasts 60 miles of recreational trails.
What makes this state park special is a mysterious 885-foot-long (270-meter) rock wall. The wall is shrouded in mystery. The wall is old; it zigzags, and was built with gathered rocks from the mountain's summit. But little more is known - no one seems to know who built it.
- Ruins: Ancient Mysterious 885-foot-Long Rock Wall
- Park Fees: $5.00
Park Opening Hours:
- Park: 7.00 am to 10.00 pm
- Office: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm
The park is named after the wall (it's commonly called Rock Fort). Old theories posited that it was built by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto - but now that theory seems to have been discounted. It is likely Native Americans built it perhaps around the time of the sixth century and perhaps for religious ceremonies. But really, no one knows - suggestions have been as speculative as a honeymoon haven for Cherokee newlyweds.
Fort Mountain State Park was opened in 1936 and today spans 3,712-acre (15.02 km2).
In addition to the wall, there are numerous pits scattered along the wall and a ruin of a gateway.
Historic Mill Ruins Of Vickery Creek Trail
Another peek into Georgia's Civil War history is offered on the Vickery Creek Trail in Atlanta's Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The trail goes to two old Roswell Mills, a spillway, and a covered bridge.
Hikers can imagine what the once bustling mills were like while seeing the ruins of the mills and a towering waterfall pouring over the historic spillway dam.
- Length: 5 Miles
- Ruins: Mills, Historic Spillway, Historic Covered Bridge
The hike explores not only the historic Roswell Mill but also the rolling forests of Roswell.
Other Ruins To Explore In Georgia
There are plenty of other ruins in Georgia - too many to go into detail here, but here are some of the notable ruins in the state.
A four-story home that was built in 1884 but burnt down in 1959.
- Location: Cumberland Island
Big Ferry Trail:
Hike the trail and see ruins from the prohibition-era times. See liquor sill and empty tubs sitting and rusting away in the tall grass.
- Location: Skidaway Island
High Falls State Park:
See the ruins of what was once a thriving industrial town and see the ruins of a hydroelectric power plant.
- Location: High Falls State Park
Sleuth one's way through Georgia and see the many other ruins dotting the state.