Peachtree Creek

Last updated
Peachtree Creek in 2016 Peachtree Creek, July 2016.jpg
Peachtree Creek in 2016
As a battlefield Georgia, Peach Tree Creek Battlefield - NARA - 533407.tif
As a battlefield

Peachtree Creek is a major stream in Atlanta. It flows for 7.5 miles (12.1 km) [1] almost due west into the Chattahoochee River just south of Vinings.


Peachtree Creek is an important part of the area history. Fort Peachtree was built near the creek and the Chattahoochee River to guard against the Cherokee, who were in the Cherokee County territory northwest of the river.

Depiction of the Battle of Peachtree Creek by Adolph Metzner Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864 LCCN2017646908.tif
Depiction of the Battle of Peachtree Creek by Adolph Metzner

During the American Civil War, the Battle of Peachtree Creek was a major battle of the Atlanta Campaign. Pace's Ferry was built across the river near the creek, and Paces Ferry Road still runs roughly parallel to the creek. Another street, Peachtree Battle Avenue, runs in a similar fashion. Because it is usually called just Peachtree Battle (even by GDOT on its overpass of Interstate 75), that part of Buckhead is often called the same, which in turn gave rise to a local play called Peachtree Battle .

Its two major tributaries are the North Fork Peachtree Creek and the South Fork Peachtree Creek. The northern fork begins at the edge of Gwinnett County and flows 13.5 miles (21.7 km) [1] southwest, almost perfectly parallel to Interstate 85 through DeKalb County. It ends at its confluence with the southern fork, next to where the highway meets Georgia 400. The southern fork, 15.4 miles (24.8 km) long, [1] begins in Tucker and flows south then west, passing through Clarkston, then crossing under part of the Stone Mountain Freeway and quickly back again, west (inside) of the Perimeter. It then flows twice through the northern part of the campus of Emory University and its Wesley Woods section. The southern edge of its basin borders the Eastern Continental Divide, including Peavine Creek (which ends next to WAGA-TV) and its tributary Lullwater Creek, which originates in the Lake Claire neighborhood of Atlanta and drains Fernbank Forest and the Druid Hills Golf Club north of Ponce de Leon Avenue. Other major nearby creeks in Atlanta include Nancy Creek (which flows into Peachtree Creek just before the Chattahoochee River), and Proctor Creek (which flows directly into the Chattahoochee).

Streamflow and flooding

Since 1912, the stream gauge on Peachtree Creek (AANG1) has been located where it crosses Northside Drive just east of Interstate 75, just northwest of the Brookwood Split (where Interstate 85 leaves 75). It is located at 33°49′10″N84°24′28″W / 33.81944°N 84.40778°W / 33.81944; -84.40778 (Peachtree Creek, USGS stream gauge AANG1 at Northside Drive) , at 764 feet (233 m) above mean sea level. A 1-inch (25 mm) rainfall puts approximately 1.5 billion gallons or almost 6 billion liters into the watershed, by USGS calculations. That watershed (above the gauge only) is 86.8 square miles (225 km2). There is also water quality monitoring equipment there, all transmitted to GOES weather satellites and back down to the USGS in real time. Prior to this current system, daily flow and water quality sampling were done as far back as 1958 and 1959, respectively. Records for this site are maintained by the USGS Georgia Water Science Center.

Flood stage is 17.0 feet (5.2 m) depth, and due to the heavy urbanization in the area, it often reaches above this mark during heavy storms. Peachtree Creek suffered massive flooding after Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. Late on September 16, 2004, it reached a stage of 22.63 feet (6.90 m), a flow of 14,200 cubic feet (106,223 gallons) or 402 cubic meters (402,100 liters) per second, and a width of 450 feet (140 m), its highest official flood record ever, which actually washed away its gauge. The creek was about ten times its normal width, three times its normal speed, and 300 times its normal flow.

The worst flood ever occurred in 1919, when on January 29 (1/29) or December 9 (12/9) it reached a flow of about 21,000 cubic feet (160,000 gallons) or 600 cubic meters (600,000 liters) per second, and a stage of 25.80 feet (7.86 m).

Peachtree Creek flood level from 1919 Peachtree Creek flood level from 1919.jpg
Peachtree Creek flood level from 1919

Another flood occurred in 1912 just above the 2004 event, and another in 1915 just below it. (Prior to the 1940s, there are no records for depth.) Base flow for the stream is about 67 cubic feet (1.9 m3) per second, and a depth of about 3 feet (0.9 m).

The 2009 Atlanta floods set new records for most streams in the area, and Peachtree Creek at Northside Drive came a close second place, reaching a height of 23.89 feet (7.28 m) on September 21, 2009, at 9:15 pm, and causing water to flow over the bridge. The North Fork reached a record of 18.07 feet (5.51 m) at 7:15pm, topping the previous record of 17.70 feet (5.39 m) in September 2004. The South Fork reached its third-highest ever at 15.21 feet (4.64 m) 5:45pm, the record being a flood that brought it to 16.35 feet (4.98 m) on March 16, 1976.

The other stream gauges are SPJG1 on the South Fork "near Atlanta" at Johnson Road since April 2003, and NPBG1 also "near Atlanta" on the North Fork at Buford Highway since May 2003, with another (NFPG1) on the North Fork further up "near Doraville" at Graves Road since June 2001.

Peachtree Creek Greenway

In October 2017, future plans were released for the Peachtree Creek Greenway that will run along Peachtree Creek. Construction on the first section of the Greenway began in late 2018 in Brookhaven. [2] The goal of the greenway is to provide residents with close-to-home and close-to-work access to bicycle and pedestrian trails, serve transportation and recreation needs, and help encourage quality of life and sustainable economic growth. The trail will connect the cities of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville.

Related Research Articles

Chattahoochee River River in Georgia, United States

The Chattahoochee River forms the southern half of the Alabama and Georgia border, as well as a portion of the Florida - Georgia border. It is a tributary of the Apalachicola River, a relatively short river formed by the confluence of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers and emptying from Florida into Apalachicola Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. The Chattahoochee River is about 430 miles (690 km) long. The Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola rivers together make up the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin. The Chattahoochee makes up the largest part of the ACF's drainage basin.

Flint River (Georgia) River in Georgia, United States

The Flint River is a 344-mile-long (554 km) 255 river in the U.S. state of Georgia. The river drains 8,460 square miles (21,900 km2) of western Georgia, flowing south from the upper Piedmont region south of Atlanta to the wetlands of the Gulf Coastal Plain in the southwestern corner of the state. Along with the Apalachicola and the Chattahoochee rivers, it forms part of the ACF basin. In its upper course through the red hills of the Piedmont, it is considered especially scenic, flowing unimpeded for over 200 miles (320 km). Historically, it was also called the Thronateeska River.

Wilson River (Oregon)

The Wilson River, about 33 miles (53 km) long, flows from the Northern Oregon Coast Range to Tillamook Bay in the U.S. state of Oregon. Formed by the confluence of its Devil's Lake Fork and its South Fork, it runs generally west through the Tillamook State Forest to its mouth near the city of Tillamook. It is one of five rivers—the Tillamook, the Trask, the Wilson, the Kilchis, and the Miami—that flow into the bay.

Feather River

The Feather River is the principal tributary of the Sacramento River, in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. The river's main stem is about 73 miles (117 km) long. Its length to its most distant headwater tributary is just over 210 miles (340 km). The main stem Feather River begins in Lake Oroville, where its four long tributary forks join—the South Fork, Middle Fork, North Fork, and West Branch Feather Rivers. These and other tributaries drain part of the northern Sierra Nevada, and the extreme southern Cascades, as well as a small portion of the Sacramento Valley. The total drainage basin is about 6,200 square miles (16,000 km2), with approximately 3,604 square miles (9,330 km2) above Lake Oroville.

Noonday Creek

Noonday Creek is a 20.2-mile-long (32.5 km) stream in Cobb and Cherokee counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The stream begins near Kennesaw Mountain and ends at Lake Allatoona.

There were several historic mills around the metro Atlanta area, for which many of its current-day roads are still named. Most of the mills date back to the 1820s and 1830s, and were built along the area's many streams. The locations of many of these mills are shown on a map of 1875 showing U. S. military operations around Atlanta in 1864. This map is now located in the U. S. Library of Congress but can be seen on the webpage linked here.

Sope Creek Cobb County, Georgia

Sope Creek is an 11.6-mile-long (18.7 km) stream located in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It is a significant tributary of the Chattahoochee River. It was known as Soap Creek during the 19th century. A section of Sope Creek runs through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Nancy Creek (Atlanta)

Nancy Creek is a 16.3-mile-long (26.2 km) stream in northern Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It begins in far northern DeKalb County, just north of Chamblee, and flows southwestward into Fulton County, through the far southeast corner of Sandy Springs, then through the Buckhead area of Atlanta. It empties into Peachtree Creek, which then flows into the Chattahoochee River, south of Vinings and Paces. The Chattahoochee eventually joins with the Flint River to create the Apalachicola River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The North Fork Nancy Creek is a major tributary, while Little Nancy Creek tends to run low or dry. Other tributaries include Bubbling Creek which originates in Chamblee, Perimeter Creek which originates in Dunwoody and Silver Creek which includes the 38-acre Silver Lake and Little Silver Lake.

Sweetwater Creek (Chattahoochee River tributary) River in Georgia, United States

Sweetwater Creek is a 45.6-mile-long (73.4 km) stream in the U.S. state of Georgia, west of Atlanta. It begins in southwestern Paulding County, flowing generally eastward into southwestern Cobb County, then turning south into eastern Douglas County. It is a tributary of the Chattahoochee River, and near its end it is the centerpiece of Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Harveys Creek Tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

Harveys Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 14.5 miles (23.3 km) long and flows through Harveys Lake, Lake Township, Lehman Township, Jackson Township, and Plymouth Township. The creek's watershed has an area of 46.3 square miles (120 km2). The creek has four named tributaries, which are known as Bear Hollow Creek, Paint Spring Run, Pikes Creek, and East Fork Harveys Creek. The watershed is designated as a High-Quality Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery above Pikes Creek and as a Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery below it. The creek's source is Harveys Lake, the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania.

Fishing Creek (North Branch Susquehanna River tributary) Tributary of river in Pennsylvania

Fishing Creek is a 29.98-mile (48.25 km) long tributary of the Susquehanna River in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It joins the Susquehanna River near the census-designated place of Rupert and the town of Bloomsburg. The watershed has an area of 385 square miles (1,000 km2).

Clear Creek (Atlanta)

Clear Creek is a stream in northeast Atlanta that is a tributary to Peachtree Creek and part of the Chattahoochee River watershed. It has two main branches, one originating east of the high ground along which Boulevard runs and another to the west originating on the northeast side of downtown Atlanta. The easterly branch of Clear Creek begins in several springs and branches in what are now Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward. Flowing north, the creek was joined by other branches and springs, including Angier Springs near the end of Belgrade Avenue and the so-called Ponce de Leon Springs, which were “discovered” during railroad construction in the 1860s and gave rise to the eponymous park and avenue.

Row River

The Row River is a river, approximately 20 miles (32 km) long, in Lane County, Oregon, United States. It rises in the Cascade Range and flows into the Coast Fork Willamette River near Cottage Grove. The stream was originally known as the "East Fork Coast Fork", but was later renamed after a dispute between neighbors and brothers-in-law George Clark and Joseph Southwell over "trespassing" livestock. Clark was killed as a result of the row. The name rhymes with "cow" rather than with "slow". A post office named Row River operated from 1911 to 1914 a little north of the present site of Dorena at 43.740123°N 122.880347°W.

Coyote Creek (San Gabriel River tributary)

Coyote Creek is a principal tributary of the San Gabriel River in northwest Orange County, southeast Los Angeles County, and southwest Riverside County, California. It drains a land area of roughly 41.3 square miles (107 km2) covering eight major cities, including Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra, Lakewood, La Palma and Long Beach,. Some major tributaries of the creek in the highly urbanized watershed include Brea Creek, Fullerton Creek, and Carbon Creek. The mostly flat creek basin is separated by a series of low mountains, and is bounded by several small mountain ranges, including the Chino Hills, Puente Hills and West Coyote Hills.

The 2009 Southeastern United States floods were a group of floods that affected several counties throughout northern Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. The worst flooding occurred across the Atlanta metropolitan area. Continuous rain, spawned by moisture pulled from the Gulf of Mexico, fell faster than the local watersheds could drain the runoff.

Willeo Creek

Willeo Creek is a 6.7-mile-long (10.8 km) stream in the U.S. state of Georgia, and is located in the north-northwestern part of metro Atlanta. It is a significant tributary of the Chattahoochee River, into which it flows at Bull Sluice Lake, just upstream from Morgan Falls Dam and downstream from the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Together, the two streams form nearly all of the county line between Fulton to the east and Cobb to the west.

Paces is a neighborhood of Atlanta. It is part of the Buckhead district and located in the far northwest corner of the city. Paces is bounded on the northwest by the Chattahoochee River, which is also the Cobb/Fulton county line. Just across the river in Cobb is the unincorporated community of Vinings, which was originally known as Paces after founder Hardy Pace, who operated Pace's Ferry. Cumberland is also located on the other side of the river. It is perhaps Atlanta's most affluent neighborhood, with many of the homes selling in the $5–$7 million range, and some reaching upwards of $20 million.

Course of the Willamette River

The Willamette River is a 187-mile (301 km) tributary of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Oregon. The upper tributaries of the Willamette originate in mountains south and southeast of the twin cities of Eugene and Springfield. Formed by the confluence of the Middle Fork Willamette River and Coast Fork Willamette River near Springfield, the main stem meanders generally north from source to mouth. The river's two most significant course deviations occur at Newberg, where the stream turns sharply east, and about 18 miles (29 km) downriver from Newberg, where it turns north again. Near its mouth, the river splits into two channels that flow around Sauvie Island. The main channel enters the Columbia about 101 miles (163 km) from the larger stream's mouth on the Pacific Ocean, and the smaller Multnomah Channel enters the Columbia about 14.5 miles (23.3 km) further downstream near St. Helens in Columbia County.

Little Wapwallopen Creek Tributary of the Susquehanna River

Little Wapwallopen Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 17 miles (27 km) long and flows through Rice Township, Dorrance Township, Conyngham Township, and Hollenback Township. The watershed of the creek has an area of 39.5 square miles (102 km2). The creek is designated as a Coldwater Fishery and a Migratory Fishery and is not considered to be impaired. It has two named tributaries: Pond Creek and Nuangola Outlet. Wild trout naturally reproduce in the creek.

Leggetts Creek River in the United States of America

Leggetts Creek is a tributary of the Lackawanna River in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 9.0 miles (14.5 km) long and flows through Scott Township, South Abington Township, and Scranton. The watershed of the creek has an area of 18.5 square miles (48 km2). The creek has three named tributaries: Leach Creek, Clover Hill Creek, and Summit Lake Creek. Leggetts Creek is considered to be impaired due to urban development problems, but is not affected by acid mine drainage. The creek is fairly alkaline and is a perennial stream. Its headwaters are in wetlands outside of the Lackawanna Valley and it flows through a water gap known as Leggetts Gap or The Notch. Major lakes in the watershed include the Griffin Reservoir, Summit Lake, and Maple Lake. The creek is a source of flooding in South Abington Township.


  1. 1 2 3 U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine , accessed April 15, 2011
  2. "Peachtree Creek Greenway 'model mile' unveiled". 28 October 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.

Coordinates: 33°49′36″N84°27′18″W / 33.82667°N 84.45500°W / 33.82667; -84.45500