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One of my designs students’ favorite field trips is the Spring Hike and Draw. I take them to Sope Creek in Marietta, GA to see the stone ruins along the creek banks which are remnants of a paper manufacturing company that produced a large portion of the South’s paper from 1855 to 1902. The mills manufactured news print, wrapping paper and stationery – a pioneer enterprise in this section of the state of Georgia. On July 5, 1864 the mills were burned by a detachment of General Kenner Garrard’s cavairy division while guarding the left flank of Federal forces preparing to cross the Chattahoochee River at the mouth of Sope Creek. The mill was rebuilt after the war, and then they burned down again in 1870. They were restored in 1871 and operated until 1902.

While visiting the ruins, I encourage the students to draw and take photos of the different textures and interesting angles. There is great contrast with the ruins running along the water in the woods.

The hike itself is about 3.5 miles total, but you can get “lost” and go about 12 miles. The trail is moderate to difficult. You can take different routes to make it more challenging. Hiking time is about 2.5 hours. Parking is $3.oo if you don’t have a pass and there are no facilities in the park. Here is the link with directions, http://www.nps.gov/chat/planyourvisit/sopecreek.htm.

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