Roswell, Georgia


Roswell offers a great small-town escape from urban Atlanta, and that’s exactly what I was looking for, on Day 4 of this trip.  I decided to make a big, counter-clockwise loop north from Atlanta, through towns like Roswell, Alpharetta, and Cumming, then west to Canton and Woodstock, before headed south.

I was hoping to find a few antique stores on this route, and Roswell offered at least two of them.  Alpharetta Highway (Route 9) is the main road through town, but to find the historic downtown area, look for Canton Street.

Roswell’s city hall is big and beautiful enough to be a county courthouse, but it only serves the city, since the seat of Fulton County is located in Atlanta.  City Hall is located off Hill Street.

Just a few blocks south of City Hall, you’ll discover Roswell’s historic roots, and a great place to do some hiking.   From Atlanta Street (Route 9), turn onto Mill Street, and follow it down the hill to a parking area.  From there, you’ll be able to walk down to this building, the old Roswell Mill Machine Shop.  It was built in 1853, and it’s the oldest building that remains from the mill operation that began operating here in 1839.  The original mill…

… was located just beyond the covered bridge (in this picture, to the right, beyond the fence).  The bridge was added in 2004, to provide access to the hiking trails in the Vickery Creek National Recreation Area, on the other side of the creek.   Upstream from the bridge, past the machine shop, you can see the dam, also built in 1853, to power the mill.

The most recent mill was built in 1882, and is now part of a shopping complex that you’ll drive by on your way into the parking area.

Walk across the covered bridge…

… and you’ll find the trails that loop through the woods…

… on the two peninsulas formed by the oxbow in the creek.  This was the only sign I could find, and it didn’t provide much guidance, so you might want to print a better map before you leave home.  One guide I found suggested that there are 6.3 miles of trails to hike here.  In addition to taking you through the woods, you can also use the trails to access the historic Allenbrook Mill House and Ivy Mill ruins.

I didn’t have time for a long hike, so I only explored the trails briefly, before returning to the covered bridge and crossing back to the parking area.

Drivelapse Video

After my time in Roswell, I didn’t stop for pictures anywhere until much later in the day.  Instead, I let the Drivelapse camera do the work.  So if you’d like to see my scenic route, check out the videos, starting with Norcross to Roswell…

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… Roswell to Alpharetta and Cumming…

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…and Cumming to Canton, via Route 20 and I-575:

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