Description - The Chattahoochee River and its valley is a place rich in natural and cultural resources. Sometimes the river is clear, cold, and slow-moving, while at other times it is a muddy torrent, plunging through rocky shoals. The valley contains a rich, diverse mix of plants and animals that represent an environment much larger than itself. For centuries, humans have been drawn to this river valley for life’s basics: food, water, and shelter as well as transportation and power to support the increasing numbers of mills and factories. By the 1970’s, the resources that made the river valley a special place to so many people were being threatened. On August 15, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation that set aside a 48-mile stretch of river with a series of parklands to preserve a part of the river valley for future generations.
Today the river valley attracts us for so many reasons. Take a solitary walk to enjoy nature’s display, raft leisurely through the rocky shoals with friends, fish the misty waters as the sun comes up, reflect on a mill worker’s day as a chipmunk scurries over the paper mill ruins, or have a picnic on a Sunday afternoon. Experience your Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
- The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area cordially invites you to Experience Your Backyard by participating in one or more of our interpretive programs in your National Park along the Chattahoochee River. These programs are an excellent opportunity to discover the natural and cultural resources of the park.
Recreation - The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area has two trails open for bicycling, the Cochran Shoals Loop Trail and the Sope Creek Trail. Both trails are multi-use; open to walkers (with or without dogs) and joggers. The Cochran Shoals trail can be accessed at the Interstate North entrance and the Columns Drive entrance of Cochran Shoals. This trail is best suited for the recreational bike rider. The trail is a relatively flat, hard packed surface that winds past the river and through the wetlands for a total of three miles. Perfect for the family bike ride!
Island Ford contains 3 miles of easy to difficult trails. You can enjoy a walk, a rigorous hike, a jog or a run. The unit has natural habitats that support mammals like the muskrat, beaver, fox, and raccoon. These habitats also provide for diverse species of bird and water fowl. Most snakes along the corridor are harmless, but try to avoid the copperhead.
The 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River
National Recreation Area is available for
raft, canoe, kayak, motor boat and other
small boat use year round. Jet skis are not
allowed at any time. The river stays a cool
temperature year-round, rarely getting
warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The river within the park is open for boating from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. Night boating is not allowed. Additionally, the river offers excellent opportunities for leisurely paddling a raft, canoe or kayak to observe wildlife and wildflowers, do some fishing, or simple relaxed recreation.
Horseback riding is allowed along the trails of the Forsyth County section of Bowman's Island. Facilities to rent horses are not provided within the park.
Climate - The climate in northern Georgia is generally temperate. Short, cool winters give relief from hot summers. Most visitors enjoy this area during the long, mild fall and spring seasons.
This National Recreation Area lies within four counties, north and northeast of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.