Now the centerpiece of George L. Smith State Park, the renovated structure seen here was built by James M. Parrish, who along with Alexander Hendricks purchased the surrounding 200 acres from J. J. Moring in 1880 and set about building a dam and grist mill on Fifteen Mile Creek. The structure also served as a covered bridge.
The pond, filled with cypress trees, is one of the most picturesque places in this section of Georgia and attracts fishermen, kayakers and nature lovers from all over. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth a visit.
Though the lake is man-made, it’s a pristine natural area attracting lots of birds and other wildlife.
A relatively short walking trail follows the pond and affords views like these from one of several docks and overlooks.
Take advantage of a peaceful hour or two and stop by when you’re in the area.
One of the most knowledgeable guides to the park is Wesley Hendley, who loves being on the water and has a real passion for the history of the area.