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Making the Most Out of Your Chattahoochee River Visit

The Chattahoochee River

The majestic Chattahoochee River straddles the lower half of the Georgia-Alabama border, as well as part of the Georgia-Florida border. Running 430 miles, it originates from the mountains of North Georgia and flows into the Apalachicola River to the south. Throughout its span, the river is controlled by 13 dams that provide hydroelectric power to various communities in the area. 

The river cuts across Georgia and divides several counties, including Cobb County and Fulton County. It runs through the Atlanta metropolitan area, including northern suburban communities like Buckhead, East Cobb, Vinings, and others.

North of Atlanta is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a national park that covers a 48-mile stretch of the river and over 10,400 acres of preserved land and chain of parks. The area provides numerous recreational opportunities as well as access to historic sites surrounding the river. 

If you’re planning to explore the Chattahoochee River, the national park is a great place to start. 

These are just some of the things that you can see and do here:


The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area features several trails along the river’s banks. A combination of paved and raw paths, these picturesque trails will take you through hills, creeks, and forests, as well as fascinating historic relics. 

The most popular trails in the area include:

  • Sope Creek Trail
    The trail meanders along the banks of a stony creek and leads to the stone ruins of an old paper mill from the Civil War era and a tranquil reflective pond. 
  • East Palisades Trail
    This dog-friendly trail lies along the Palisades section of the Chattahoochee River, which features whitewater rapids and stunning rock slab formations. There are two trails in the Palisades area. The East Palisades Trail will take you to elevated overlooks with amazing views, a small bamboo forest, and historic ruins. The West Palisades Trail features three miles of paved path along the westarn bank of the river. 
  • Cochran Shoal Trail
    One of the most popular tails in Atlanta, the Cochran Shoal Trail is a level paved path that’s perfect for hikers, runners, and bikers. The trail will take you along the scenic banks of the Chattahoochee and into fascinating marshes and woodlands.


The Chattahoochee River offers year round fishing for trout, catfish, bass, and other species. With cool temperatures throughout the year, the Chattahoochee is one of only two trout systems in North America that go through a major metropolitan area. 

Fishing is allowed on the river from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Anglers must have a valid Georgia fishing license and trout stamp. Only one rod per person is allowed, and live bait-fish is prohibited. 

Boating, canoeing, and kayaking

The Chattahoochee River National Park is open for motorized and non-motorized boating, kayaking, rafting, standup paddleboarding, and canoeing. Jet skis are not allowed, however. You can leisurely paddle down the water, go bird and wildlife watching, and even do some fishing from your watercraft. 

The river is generally calm except in certain areas with occasional shoals and rapids, and around submerged rocks and tree snags where the currents are stronger. Thrill seeking kayakers love navigating the Palisades part of the river, which features Class 1 and 2 whitewater rapids. 

If you don’t own a boat or any watercraft, you can rent one from the authorized outfitters around the parks. 


Tubing is a highly popular activity in the Chattahoochee in the summer. Every year, hundreds of visitors rent inflatable tubes from authorized outfitters and leisurely float down the river, or “shoot the hooch” as it is locally called. You can bring a cooler along with you and have the most relaxing time taking in the refreshing views of unspoiled nature. 

Learning about nature

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a 127-acre attraction at the Chattahoochee River National Park. Here, children and adults can explore and learn about nature through guided walks, exhibits, activities, and more. It’s a great way to engage with nature while being only minutes away from the bustling urban center of Atlanta.

The attraction includes an Interpretive Center where you’ll find interactive exhibits, live animals, a nature store, and more. Highlights include the Explore Our Watershed exhibit, which features a re-creation of the various facets of the Chattahoochee River Watershed, including the animals that thrive there. 

Another highlight is the Nature Exchange trading program, where participants can bring in items from nature, earn points for them, and exchange the points for cool prizes.

The center also includes five kid-friendly wooded hiking trails in the Georgia Piedmont forest, ziplines, guided canoe trips, and horticulture classes. It hosts summer camps, fundraisers, festivals, environmental education programs, and many more. 

Learn more about the amazing things to do and the lifestyle waiting for you in East Cobb and the rest of Metro Atlanta. Explore your real estate options in the area with the Page Morgan Real Estate Group.

Get in touch with us at 770.579.5650 or 770.509.0700, or email info(at)pagemorgan(dotted)com today.