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A Tour of Marietta
Sope Creek begins as a spring within the city of Marietta and runs for 11.6 miles. The well-loved creek lends its names to a number of locations in the area, including Sope Creek Elementary School and the Sope Creek nature trails. For those looking to spend more time outside this summer, the Sope Creek Trail is a popular destination. The 1.5-mile loop around a pond takes hikers through lush woodlands and past the Sope Creek Paper Mill Ruins. The ruins, which were destroyed during the Civil War, are included on the National Register of Historic Places.
What’s in a Name?
While exploring this beautiful trail, many hikers have asked, “Why is it called Sope Creek, anyway?” While the origin of the name is not well documented, some interesting folk etymologies have developed around it. One story claims that as the water rushed over boulders in the creek, it created foam that looked like soapsuds. Historical markers and 19th-century references call the area “Soap Creek.”
Another possible origin, supported by the National Park Services, suggests that the creek was named after Old Sope, “a Cherokee holdout from the Trail of Tears.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) has also reported on this story, though their report claims the man’s name was spelled “Soap.” The AJC article claims that “Old Soap was highly regarded by the whites in the area, according to ‘The First Hundred Years: A Short History of Cobb County,’ which states that ‘he had lived there so long that a creek and its branch were named for him.’ […] The spelling of Sope Creek apparently was changed sometime in the 19th century.”
Whatever the origin of the name, Sope Creek is a beloved piece of Marietta’s history and landscape. If you’re looking to take your family on an outdoor adventure this summer, you can’t go wrong at Sope Creek. Visit AtlantaTrails.com/hiking-trails/a-getaway-close-to-home-sope-creek to see when the trail is open and plan your adventure.
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