As the Union Army approached Atlanta, the Battle of Utoy Creek was fought, and several trenches remain. (The park offers signposts about the Battle of Utoy Creek.)
But despite having been the site of the deaths of hundreds of soldiers, by the turn of the century, the spring waters here were considered to be restorative to one's health and a small, and an exclusive resort was built there, including a hotel and restaurant. Until the 1950s, the spring water was actually bottled and sold. (The water naturally contains silica, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, and other minerals said to have some healing effects.) The park lies on Cascade Road is part of the old Native American road known as "Sandtown Road" which connected the Stone Mountain area of Georgia to the Western Alabama border.
The land was purchased by the city in the 1970s and contains extensive trails, wildlife, and an outdoor auditorium. Wildlife in the park includes turtles, creek fishes, deer, guinea, and many species of songbird and predatory bird. Ruins include the remains of a pump-house, trenches, a quarry (whose rock was used to build several of the houses nearby), and a beautiful little spring-house with a small moat.
The Cascade Springs Nature Preserve is also one of the oldest forests extant in the Atlanta city limits, and features several small springs feeding the sandy shoals of Utoy Creek. The park has a diverse history, and to this day is 120-acres of beauty to visit. Despite its proximity to the perimeter expressway and the city, the preserve remains remarkably clean, and the ruins remarkably picturesque.
Know Before You Go
from downtown ATL, Take I-20 west to I-285, go south to Exit 7 Cascade Rd. Turn left onto Cascade. The Nature Preserve is on the right.From the parking area - follow the main trail (left side of parking lot when facing woods) to the spring house - from that location, go LEFT for the falls, RIGHT for the ridge trail and main body of the park.