Surrounded by tall pine trees, with a lush green landscape and a wide range of natural and historical attractions, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a brilliant display of Georgia's unique natural life. Located in Atlanta, the park's major attraction is the 48km Chattahoochee River, which affords visitors public recreation and quick access to other parts of the region.
Established in 1978, the river and its surroundings are rich in natural and human history. For centuries, the Chattahoochee River has been serving recreational and relaxation purposes to thousands of visitors annually. The resort offers brilliant hiking options, with trails giving visitors glorious views of the region's diverse landscape.
The park offers other activities like fishing, bicycling, boating, and many more. The campground at Chattahoochee River offers visitors comfortable and safe camping. Once you park your rig, there are lots of activities at this recreation area to keep you busy for weeks. And the beauty and elegance of Georgia's natural environment make a visit to Chattahoochee River a rewarding experience.
The main gates of Chattahoochee River can be accessed through the metro-Atlanta area. Permits and an entrance fee is required for visitors to access the park. The park isn't as easy to navigate as the average state park, but signposts are helpful. A park brochure can also be purchased at the visitors center in Island Ford. Most parts of the park can be reached by boat as the long river spreads to most sections of the large resort. Some parts of the park prohibit vehicles so be sure to study park brochure to make sure of driving rules and regulations. .
The campground at Chattahoochee River has 34 pet-friendly sites. The campground is about 15 miles from civilization in the north Georgia mountains, with recreational activities like fishing and hiking available at the campground. The nearby Appalachian Trail offers biking and horseback riding with a waterfall where campers can also swim near the campground.
Amenities at the ground include fire rings, flush toilets, water pumps, and picnic tables. There are no RV hookups available and no rentals either, meaning visitors have to bring their own camping vehicles or tent and equipment. Campfires are allowed at the ground with sites having a 30 person limit. Sites are first come first served, and visitors are permitted to stay for only 14 days at a time.
Like many parks across the U.S, Chattahoochee River has a functional Junior Ranger Program where kids usually within ages 8-12 participate in recreational activities. The Junior Ranger booklet teaches kids the history of the Chattahoochee River, helps them identifying plants and animals, teaches them how to be safe in the park, and much more.
For a kid to get his/her Junior Ranger Badge, they must first stop by the visitor center at Island Ford and pick up a Junior Ranger Booklet, then complete a series of activities listed in the booklet, then return the completed booklet in person to the visitor contact station at Island Ford. Then they can receive a Junior Ranger Badge and certificate.
Whether you are hiking, boating or jogging through the park, Chattahoochee River is an amazing place to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. Hundreds of Mammal and Reptile species call the river home and animal-loving visitors will have a blast seeing some of these creatures up close.
The American red fox is one of the most common predators at the park, the grey fox and coyote are also common mammals of prey. Raccoons are common around the park and at the campground, white-tailed deer, bobcats and about 4 species of otter also call the park home.
The Visitor Center is an amazing place to spend an off-season day at Chattahoochee River. Located in Sandy Springs, the Visitor's Center is the park's headquarters and the only location in the park where visitors are guaranteed to find park Rangers.
The Visitor Center building at the resort used to be the summer home of Atlanta attorney, Samuel Hewlett. It has a small book store, a restroom, an exhibition area and an information desk where visitors can pick up park brochures and make inquiries.
Chattahoochee's diverse landscape of marshlands, tall pine trees and rocky hills makes it a very good spot for birders from all over Georgia. Georgia's migration corridors also contribute to making the river one of Georgia's most diverse bird habitats. The park has over 190 bird species which nest at the park at various intervals during the year. Some species at the park include titmouse, bluejay, woodpeckers, chickadee, American crows, bald eagles and many more.
Boating is the most common water sport at the river, not just for recreational purposes, but it is also a common means of transport at the resort. There are about ten boat ramps spread across the park with boat rentals and boat tours also on offer at various parts of the river.
Motor boats are rare but are often used by anglers. Boats are permitted anywhere on the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, provided they are correctly licensed in the state of Georgia.
There are numerous trails of different difficulties and lengths at the park. Some are long walks, while some are short paths beside the river. The East Palisides Trail runs for 3.4 miles and is the most busy trail at the park, giving visitors scenic river views and good birding opportunities.
Sope Creek Trail and Cochran Shoals Trail run for 1.5 miles and 3.1 miles respectively and are also popular hiking trails for visitors to the park. Other Trails include West Palisides Trail and Vickery Creek Trail. Hikers should always carry trail maps which can be gotten from the visitors center.