Best Park 

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/

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