Did a great 10 mile run a couple weeks ago to explore Sope Creek and the old Paper Mill ruins at the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area. We started at the Cochran Shoals parking lot and headed into the hills and up toward Sibley Pond to get some extra miles. This was a familiar route, but I had never been past Sibley Pond and to the Paper Mill ruins. For those that want a shorter hike or run, there’s another parking lot at Sope Creek right near Sibley pond. It’s about a half mile from this parking lot to the ruins on the near side of the creek.
We actually went across Sope Creek and explored the Paper Mill ruins on the far bank as well. It was lovely, despite being pretty wet from recent rains. The trail on the far bank is less than a mile, but there’s not a lot of foot traffic and there are some great views of the creek. On the way back we explored the numerous trails near the creek and got some great pictures of greenery starting to poke its head out of the forest floor.
For those of you interested in trail maintenance in the area, the National Park Service is seeking public feedback on what to do about the Sope Creek Dam that has created Sibley Pond. They have monitored erosion issues around the dam for years and would like feedback about trail use around this area so they can decide what restoration projects to conduct. If you want to learn more about the history of the dam or provide feedback, here is a link to the Sope Creek Dam Project.