Old Mill Park
Sometimes we miss the hidden gems that are right in our own backyard. Old Mill Park in Roswell, Georgia is an example of this, nestled just outside earshot of the busy intersection of Marietta Hwy (GA-120) and Atlanta St (GA-9) near the Old Roswell Square.
Old Mill Park can be found at the bottom of the Roswell Mill development, featuring the Vickery Creek covered bridge and the Mill Dam. Our family simply went to visit for a couple of hours, but we bumped into some young people who had brought along the makings for dinner, and it looked like they were planning to stay for a good while longer. After the obligatory photo at the park entrance, the kids couldn’t help themselves but race to the covered bridge.
The covered bridge was rebuilt in 2004, and provides a comfortable and relaxing walkway over the bright and bubbly creek. We stopped on the bridge to enjoy the soothing colours and sound of this convenient get-away, before scrambling down to the colourful creek bed for the kids to play. While we were not the only family with pants rolled up and wet feet, it didn’t feel crowded at all – and enjoyed 20-30 min with nobody else around at all.
Although the creek has been renamed to Big Creek, skeletal remnants of the old mill still stand unyielding to time. To be fair there were more than one mill on the creek, and Sherman’s forces destroyed this mill in 1864, lightning then destroyed the replacement in 1929, and the remains are from the last edition of the mill which was operational until 1975.
The Mill Dam provides a wall from which myriad water courses cascade like a veil. While we didn’t walk right up to the base, we could clearly see a young lady who appeared to be getting portfolio type photos taken with the dam as a backdrop. The dam site was more popular than the covered bridge site, all taking time to enjoy the peaceful outdoors and attractive beauty of falling water. A walkway provided easy access and informational signs provided a brief history of the various sites along the way.
Overall, the area begged us to come back and visit another time and to stay a little longer. However, often the best time to depart an attraction is shortly before you run out of things to do, for then it leaves you wanting to go back and minimizes the chance of children complaining about having “nothing to do”. That said, creeks and lakes seem to provide limitless attraction to our boys who never seem to tire of tossing rocks into water. The portable toilet near the park entrance was the only item that seemed out-of-place, and one wonders why something more permanent hasn’t been added yet.
Go ahead and take the family for 2-3 hours, but plan on getting your feet wet and take a towel for drying off.