Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Audio Available:



OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of official print brochure for Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 46 minutes which we have divided into 17 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 3-13 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding what to do on the river as well as on the land while visiting the park. Sections 14-15 cover the back of the brochure which consists of a map of the 48 miles of river and 15 land units that comprise the park as well as the surrounding communities. Section 16 covers Accessibility and 17 covers More Information. 



↑ back to top


OVERVIEW: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, located in Georgia, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The park is made up of a 48-mile stretch of the river and over 6,000 acres of land area. The park starts below Buford Dam at Lake Sidney Lanier and winds through the suburbs north of Atlanta ending where Peachtree Creek enters the river in northwest Atlanta. The park was established on August 15, 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the act creating the park. Each year, over 300,000 visitors come to enjoy the iconic experiences that can be had on and along the Chattahoochee River. We invite you to explore the park's colorful, cold, slow-moving river. Float down the river, trails to hike and explore flora and fauna. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, visit the parks website at www.nps.gov/chat or call 678-538-1200. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.




↑ back to top


OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front side of the brochure includes a brief introduction to the park followed by tips on the river and land that makes up the park. Photographs and a table give you a taste of what to expect when you visit the park. The front side ends with a map showing the location of the park, regulations to be aware of while visiting, and contacts for additional information.




↑ back to top


IMAGE: Rafters at Devils Race Course Shoals

DESCRIPTION:

Color image of six people in a green whitewater rafting tube moving along a river at Devils Race Course Shoals. Each person wears a red or blue lifejacket or PFD. Everyone has a paddle with a blue handle and a yellow fin. Most of the people are wearing sleeveless shirts and hats with sunglasses. Rocks surround the raft. The river is a blue green color with pockets of white water pooling. Trees extend the background of the image. 

CAPTION: Rafters at Devils Race Course Shoals

CREDIT: Tom Wilson




↑ back to top


IMAGE: Chattahoochee trout fisherman

DESCRIPTION:

Color image of a person in mid swing with a fly fishing rod. They stand on the right side with water covering the remainder of the image. Their right hand holds the rod with the fishing line in the left. The person wears camouflage waders and hat. They stand in shin level water. The blue and green water sparkles from the reflection of the sun. 

CAPTION: Chattahoochee trout fisherman

CREDIT: Tom Wilson




↑ back to top


TEXT: A River, a City, a Park

The river is the Chattahoochee; the city is Atlanta. The park is a series of parklands along a 48-mile stretch of the river-a place rich in natural and human history, each influenced by the river's pervasive force. Usually clear, cold, and slow-moving, the river sometimes plunges as a muddy torrent through its rockbound shoals. For centuries people have been drawn to the river for food and transportation and for power to sustain the mills, factories, and homes built along its banks.

Today the river attracts us for different reasons. People come to float down the river, hike the trails along its banks, play touch football in the meadows, and simply relax. In its role as an outdoor classroom, the park promises to expand your horizons through nature walks exploring its plants and birds and the river. Beaver and muskrats live in burrows along the river's bank, foxes and raccoons make their homes in the hardwood forests, and chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits seem to be everywhere. Turtles, snakes, salamanders, lizards, frogs, and toads live in all the natural habitats along the river. Venture into the forest and you set off a noisy reaction as grasshoppers, dragonflies, and butterflies leap and fly to escape the foot you innocently placed.

In any season, the Chattahoochee's banks are a tangle of color. Dogwoods, redbuds, and trout lilies in early spring are followed by flame azaleas, asters, and wild violets. In the fall, cardinal flowers and the showy scarlet sumacs turn brilliant shades of red. A solitary walk enjoying nature's display, rafting leisurely with friends, fishing on the misty waters as the Sun comes up, picnicking on a Sunday afternoon-this is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.




↑ back to top

IMAGE: Fish Weir Shoal, Chattahoochee River

DESCRIPTION:
Aerial photograph of Chattahoochee River showing Fish Weir Shoals with Georgia Route 20 highway bridge in the distance. The bright blue river meanders the banks of deciduous trees in different shades of green. Reflecting into the river is trees from the top left. To the right of the image a portion of a trail is visible leading to a brown clearing. 

CAPTION: Fish Weir Shoals, Chattahoochee River

CREDIT: NPS

↑ back to top

IMAGE: Bloodroot

DESCRIPTION:

Color photograph of four bloodroot plants in bloom between two decaying logs. Each flower has eight white cup-shaped petals with a greenish stalk at the top and reddish stalk at the bottom. A large green, veiny half-opened leaf enfolds the stems. Mixed through the flowers and decaying logs is brown and black leaf litter. 

CAPTION: Bloodroot

CREDIT: Tom Wilson

↑ back to top

IMAGE: Great blue heron with fish

DESCRIPTION:

Colored photograph of a great blue heron, a large bird with long blue-gray feathers. The bird stands on two long skinny legs that start as a brown color and turns black when moving down to its feet. The neck is long and in the shape of a letter S. The heron has a black stripe from it's eye to the back of the head and a yellow beak. A white fish dangles on both sides of the birds mouth. Logs lay in the foreground where the heron stands. Behind the bird is brownish-black water with white rapids in the distance.  

CAPTION: Great blue heron with fish

CREDIT: Tom Wilson

↑ back to top


TEXT: On the River

The Chattahoochee River is rated a Class I and II waterway, excellent for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. Some sections can be Class III because of narrow passages, high water levels with erratic waves, and cold water. Currents can be strong around submerged rocks and jagged tree snags that crowd the river. Rubber-soled shoes are a must for tackling broken glass and slippery rocks. Check river conditions before you put in. The river can rise rapidly when water is released from upstream dams.

The Chattahoochee can be paddled any time of the year if you have your own watercraft. Rafts and canoes may be rented May through Labor Day from commercial businesses outside the park. Check the park website for a listing (www.nps.gov/chat). Glass containers are not permitted on the river from Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek. Remember to carry a plastic bag for litter.




↑ back to top

TEXT: Fishing

Fishing for trout, bass, catfish, and other species can be a great experience. Anglers must follow fishing regulations. A Georgia fishing license with a trout stamp is required for anglers 16 and older. All boats propelled by mechanical means must be registered with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Use of PFDs/Life Preservers

Water temperatures range from 44 to 58°F, and the river can rise rapidly from six to 11 feet when water is released from dam powerhouses. U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are REQUIRED TO BE WORN if you are boating, tube floating, or wading in areas between Buford Dam and the Ga. 20 bridge, or downstream of Morgan Falls Dam and the Morgan Falls boat launch. On other sections in the national recreation area, you must have a PFD aboard for each person in the craft.

↑ back to top

TEXT: Guard Against Hypothermia

Hypothermia—lowering of the body’s core temperature—can occur when you are exposed to wet, cold conditions and/or wind. The river water is very cold. If you capsize, get out as quickly as possible and warm yourself.

↑ back to top

TEXT: River Safety Tips

  • Know your put-in and take-out points and tell others your plans. 
  • Check water-release schedules before entering the water directly below dams. 
  • Watch weather and water conditions and head for shore if bad weather threatens. If lightning occurs, get out of the water, stay away from trees, and seek low shelter. Lightweight, quick-drying clothing is adequate in summer. During cooler seasons wear clothes of natural and synthetic fiber blends. In cold weather wear wool — it retains heat even when wet. Wear appropriate footgear. 
  • Drinking alcohol impairs coordination and judgment. 
  • Never dive or jump into the river. There are dangers in the form of submerged rocks, murky water, and fluctuating water levels. Swimming is not recommended. 

Use caution below dams. The river rises rapidly during water releases.

↑ back to top


IMAGE: Ruins of Marietta Paper Mill

DESCRIPTION:
Color photograph of three stone walls are all that remain today of the Marietta Paper Mill. Each of the stone walls are made up of hundreds of smaller weathered gray stones. The two walls in the back both have multiple window openings with no tops. The wall closest to the foreground has a flat top being much shorter than the other three. Wooded area surrounds the building. 

[Additional Information] While quiet today 150 years ago the window openings in these walls allowed light in to what would have been dark and dismal working conditions.

CAPTION: Ruins of Marietta Paper Mill.

CREDIT: NPS




↑ back to top


IMAGE: A view down Sope Creek

DESCRIPTION:

Color photograph of a cross section of Slope Creek. Bright green trees wrap the banks with different shades of brown rocks scattered throughout. The creek transitions from brown to green to blue depending on the area. White rapids are small and dispersed. Water in the foreground is blurry creating a sense of moving water. 

CAPTION: A view down Sope Creek

CREDIT: Tom Wilson




↑ back to top


CHART: River Access Points

COLUMN LABELS: From / To / Distance (approx.) / Approx. Float Time in Hours (Depending on water level)

ROW 1: Buford Dam / Abbotts Bridge / 13 mi / Canoe 6–8 / Raft 9–10 

ROW 2: Abbotts Bridge / Medlock Bridge / 4 mi / 1–2 / 3–4 

ROW 3: Medlock Bridge / Jones Bridge / 3 mi / 1–1½ / 1½–2 

ROW 4: Jones Bridge / Chattahoochee River Park (Chattahoochee River Park is the last take-out point before Morgan Falls Dam) / 12 mi / 6–8 / 9–12 

ROW 5: Morgan Falls Dam / Johnson Ferry / 2 mi / ½–1 / 1–2 

ROW 6: Johnson Ferry / Powers Island / 3.5 mi / 1–3 / 2–4 

ROW 7: Powers Island / Paces Mill (Paces Mill is the last take-out point in the national recreation area) / 3 mi / 1–2 / 1–3




↑ back to top


IMAGE: Rainbow trout

DESCRIPTION:

Color image of a rainbow trout. The fish is olive green with a reddish-pink stripe in the center and a light blue stripe on the bottom that spans from the tail to the gills. Black spotting covers the length of the body. The tail fin is squarish with a minor indent in the center. This rainbow trout has two fins on the top and two on the bottom with one behind its gills. 

CAPTION: Brook, rainbow, and brown trout thrive in the Chattahoochee

CREDIT: NPS / Dan Feaser





↑ back to top


TEXT: On the Land

Most park areas offer hiking and walking trails and meadows for recreation. Picnic tables, grills, and trash containers are conveniently located. Delightful pockets of natural and cultural history offer outstanding classroom experiences throughout the Chattahoochee River corridor.

Visitors parking in park areas must display an annual or daily parking pass on their vehicles.

Upland ridge trails in Palisades lead to panoramas of the river gorge and down through wooded forests to floodplain trails. You can see rock outcroppings, beaches, expanses of shoalwater, and evidences of human activity.

At Sope Creek (in Cochran Shoals) and in Vickery Creek, trails lead through moderately steep to rolling hills and to lush ravines and wooded areas, old homesites, and historic mill ruins.

Trails in Cochran Shoals, Johnson Ferry, and Gold Branch reveal marshy environments and open fields that once were rich farmlands.

The Cochran Shoals Trail, approximately three miles long with optional loops, is a fully accessible path enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Island Ford and Jones Bridge have trails that lead to the river’s edge for scenic views of islands and whitewater shoals. Island Ford is also the site of the visitor contact station, which is open daily except December 25.




↑ back to top

TEXT: Land Safety Tips

  • Don’t leave your vehicle or personal belongings unprotected. Be aware. Choose not to be a target for crime. 
  • For extra safety enjoy the park with a friend. 
  • Do not overexert. 
  • Respect the rights of others. 
  • Stay on designated trails. Shortcutting erodes soil and damages plants, and it can lead to accidents. 
  • Learn to identify poison ivy and the most prevalent poisonous snake, the copperhead.
  • Insect repellent is a must, especially near wetlands. 
  • Climbing cliffs can be dangerous; their soils and rock readily crumble. 
  • Extinguish fires in grills before leaving your picnic site. 
  • Buckle up, be alert, and drive safely.

↑ back to top


TEXT: Where you are

The 540-mile Chattahoochee River flows southwesterly from the north Georgia mountains to its Flint River confluence at Lake Seminole. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is north of Atlanta. National forests, a national wildlife refuge, and National Park System areas are within easy drives of Atlanta.




↑ back to top

MAP: Overview of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

DESCRIPTION:

Broad overview map over the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and surrounding areas. Bottom left corner of the map is a North arrow pointing to the top of the map. Below the arrow is a distance scale depicting 10 Kilometers and 10 Miles. The map displays Georgia (center), South Carolina (top right), North Carolina (top center to the right), Tennessee (top center to the left), and Alabama (left). 

The center of the map is labeled as Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and Preservation District in Atlanta, Georgia. A series of roads spider out from this center point. Route 85 travels from the bottom left corner in Alabama, coming from Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, and continues northeast till entering South Carolina. Route 16 comes from the bottom right of the corner of the map passing though the Ocmulgee National Monument and then Macon, Georgia. Route 16 joins into Route 75 and continues northwest through Atlanta eventually entering Tennessee. Once entering Tennessee, Route 75 creates a letter T with Route 59 around Chattanooga, which travels from Alabama through the corner of Georgia then into Tennessee from southwest to northeast. Off of Route 75 traveling south of this intersection is the city of Chickamauga, Gerogia and the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. To the northwest of Atlanta on Route 75 is the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and the city of Marietta, Georgia. Route 20 passes from east to west passing through Atlanta. 

The Chattahoochee River follows the Alabama and Georgia boarder until intersecting Route 85 then heads towards Atlanta in the center of the map. On the northeast side of Atlanta the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is highlighted in a thick green line that leads to the Lake Sydney Lanier. 

Multiple protected lands are labeled throughout, mostly on the border of the map. Starting in the bottom right corner is the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and the Oconee National Forest. North from here is another section of the Oconee National Forest. Continuing north before hitting the top of the map is Sumter National Forest. In the top right is the Nantahala National Forest. In the center top is the Cherokee National Forest. Between the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forest in the Chattahoochee National Forest that is slightly south in comparison. Another section of the Chattahoochee National Forest is found further west. On the far left center is the Talladega National Forest. 

CREDIT: NPS

↑ back to top

TEXT: Regulations

• Pets must be physically restrained on a handheld leash at all times. Dispose of pet waste in a trash receptacle. 

• Use picnic grills or a portable stove for cooking. Open campfires are not permitted. 

• Camping is not allowed. 

• Hunting is prohibited. 

• Glass containers are prohibited on the river from Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek. For your safety the National Park Service recommends that no glass containers be used in the river corridor. 

• Protect historic ruins for future public enjoyment; climbing or defacing them is prohibited. 

• Metal detectors and panning for gold are not allowed. 

• Respect the rights of private property owners. Be alert to boundary trespass. 

• Take pride in your park and help protect it for future generations. Do not pick plants or disturb animals. Put litter in its proper place. Please recycle.

↑ back to top


OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

The back side of the brochure consist of a map of the river and the 15 land units that make up the park. Next to each land unit are symbols showing what is available at the unit, such as parking, river access, picnic areas, restroom facilities and trails. The map also shows neighboring towns as well as major roads in the area. A legend to the major features of the map is located at the top of the map.




↑ back to top


MAP: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

The large colorful map of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is shown vertically spanning the entirety of the backside of the brochure. North arrow points to the top left corner or northwest of the map with a legend in the top right depicting different amenities and land ownership of surrounding parks and protected areas. 

Note: Federal laws and National Park Service regulations apply to national recreation lands and 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River.

Starting at Lake Sidney Lanier in the north traveling south down the 48-mile stretch of river is 15 different park units: Bowmans Island, Orrs Ferry Unit, Settles Bridge Unit, McGinnis Ferry Unit, Suwanee Creek Unit, Abbotts Bridge Unit, Medlock Bridge Unit, Jones Bridge Unit, Holcomb Bridge Unit, Island Ford Unit, Vickery Creek Unit, Gold Branch Unit, Johnson Ferry Unit, Cochran Shoals Unit, and Palisades Unit.

Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center (CREEC) located in the Jones Bridge unit. Park Headquarters located in the Island Ford unit. 

Throughout the map the county lines change starting in the north going south are: Forsyth County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Dekalb County. From north to south and west to east the cities labeled are: Cumming, Buford, Sugar Hill, Duluth, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell, Norcross, Doraville, Chamblee, Sandy Springs, and Atlanta. 

Major roads are depicted with a thick red line and smaller side roads depicted with a thin black line including route numbers, highway numbers, road names, and exit numbers. Toll roads are sectioned out in a yellow line. Route 20 starts in the top left corner of the map or north and continues to the right or east side of the map crossing the Chattahoochee River below Bowmans Island unit. Route 20 continues across the map unit passing over the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard which travels from the top right of the map continuing all the way to the center bottom of the map. Route 9 starts in the top of the map eventually Route 120 joins from the right and separates before passing the Chattahoochee River. Route 9 passes over the Chattahoochee River at Vickery Creek unit and continues to the center bottom. Route 19 or 400 starts on top of the map traveling to the bottom center, crossing the Chattahoochee River in the Island Ford unit. These two routes continue to the bottom of the map until Route 400 turns into a toll road for a small stretch and continuing in the same direction. Route 19 splits from Route 400 after crossing the river and joins  joining Route 9 continuing in the same direction just more south. Eventually these routes separate into highway 237, Interstate 13, and Interstate 29. Interstate 85 enters the map from the right center, traveling to the bottom of the map. Interstate 285 enters the map from the right traveling horizontally crossing Routes 19, 9, and 400 and over the Chattahoochee River in the Cochran Shoals unit then leaves the map at the bottom. Route 141 starts in the top center of the map then heads towards the right until crossing the Chattahoochee River in Medlock Bridge unit and proceeds to travel to the bottom of the map. Interstate 75 joins the map in the bottom left weaving back and forth with Route 41 towards the bottom center of the map. 

Hospitals can be found throughout the map in multiple locations within different cities and counties. 



↑ back to top

MAP: Legend

At the top of the page outside of the map is the map legend for Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The left half of the legend consist of three columns of boxes displaying the feature with the description next to the box. The right half of the legend has three columns of pictographs used in the map with their description next to them.

Box Section.

The first column consist three boxes:

  • First box is medium green in color with a broad blue line passing vertically through the box and it represents the lands of the park and the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River.
  • Second box is tan in color and represents the private land within the authorized park boundary.
  • Third box is light green in color and represents other public land within the authorized park.

The second column consist three boxes:

  • First box is medium green in color with a broad blue line passing vertically through the box and a red number and dot on the blue river and it represents the land of the park, the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River, and the red dot river milepost symbol.
  • Second box is medium green in color with a black dashed line passing vertically through the box which represents the land of the park and a hiking trail symbol
  • Third box is off white in color with a black dashed line passing vertically through the box which represents the unpaved road symbol.

The third column consist two boxes:

  • First box is medium green in color with a broad blue line passing horizontally through the box and purple colored section of the blue river. It represents the land of the park, the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River, and the shoal area symbol.
  • Second box is medium green in color with a horizontal red line, a small box with a number next to the small box which represents the land of the park, roadway and exit number.

Pictograph Section.

The first column consist three pictographs:

  • First pictograph is a blue square with rounded corners and a white capital H, designating a Hospital.
  • Second pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white capital P, designating a parking lot.
  • Third pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white building flying a flag, designating a ranger station.

The second column consist four pictographs:

  • First pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white boat and trailer on a sloping ramp, designating a boat, canoe, and raft launch.
  • Second pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white canoeist in a canoe, designating a canoe and raft launch.
  • Third pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white picnic table, designating a picnic area.
  • Fourth pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white woman and man with a vertical line between them, designating restrooms.

The third column consist four pictographs:

  • First pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white horse with a person on it's back, designating a horseback riding trail.
  • Second pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white person leaning forward with a circle in the front and back, designating bicycle trails.
  • Third pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white person standing straight up with a backpack on and a stick in their hand, designating hiking trails.
  • Fourth pictograph is a black square with rounded corners and a white person sitting with a large circle rounding from the knee to the back, designating wheelchair-accessible trails.

Below the key is a north arrow pointing to the top left corner. Two distance scales depict one and two kilometers and one and two miles. Federal laws and National Park Service regulations apply to national recreation lands and 48 mile of the Chattahoochee River is noted. 

↑ back to top

MAP: Park Units

15 park units are listed from north to south. 

  • Bowmans Island 
  • Orrs Ferry Unit
  • Settles Bridge Unit
  • McGinnis Ferry Unit
  • Suwanee Creek Unit
  • Abbotts Bridge Unit
  • Medlock Bridge Unit
  • Jones Bridge Unit
  • Holcomb Bridge Unit
  • Island Ford Unit
  • Vickery Creek Unit
  • Gold Branch Unit
  • Johnson Ferry Unit
  • Cochran Shoals Unit
  • Palisades Unit

The following sections include in-depth descriptions of the units and the amenities located there. 

↑ back to top

MAP: Bowmans Island

The Bowmans Island Unit is the northern most land unit of the park. The unit straddles the river from river mile 348 downstream to river mile 345.8. The upstream boundary is with the Lake Sidney Lanier lands while the downstream boundary is Georgia highway 20 bridge crossing. The lands east of the river are in unincorporated Gwinnett County as well as the City of Sugar Hill. The lands west of the river are in unincorporated Forsyth County.

Several roads provide access to the unit. From unincorporated Gwinnett County Island Ford Road leads to the northeast corner of the unit. From unincorporated Forsyth County River Club Drive and Trout Place Road provide access to the Southwest corner.

Activities on the east side of the river are limited to a few hiking trails. On the west side of the river there are numerous hiking trails as well as horseback riding trails. A limited amount of parking is available on the west side of the river. The Army Corps of Engineers provide additional parking, a boat, canoe, and raft launch and restrooms facilities just upstream of the unit on the west side of the river.

Physical features in the unit include the following:

  • Haw Creek
  • Bowmans Island
  • Bowmans Island Shoals
  • Richland Creek
↑ back to top

MAP: Orrs Ferry Unit

The Orrs Ferry Unit is the second land unit of the park as you head downstream from Bowmans Island. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 345.5 downstream to river mile 344.6. The upstream boundary is with private land while the downstream boundary is with Georgia Department of Natural Resources land. The is in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

There is no road access to the unit. Parking is not available in the unit.

This unit is undeveloped.

↑ back to top

MAP: Settles Bridge Unit

The Settles Bridge Unit is the third land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 344.3 downstream to river mile 340.3. The upstream boundary is with Georgia Department of Natural Resources land while the boundary is with several subdivisions. The unit is in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

Settles Bridge Road is the only road that provides access to the unit. Parking is available in the park.

This unit is used primarily as a take-out for boaters and anglers in tubes coming down stream from Bowmans Island and as a put-in for boaters headed down stream to the Abbotts Bridge Unit.

Physical features in the unit include the following:

  • Historic Settles Bridge
  • Level Creek
↑ back to top

MAP: McGinnis Ferry Unit

The McGinnis Ferry Unit is the fourth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west side of the river from river mile 339.7 downstream to river mile 338.5. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

McGinnis Ferry Road is the only road that passing the Chattahoochee River on the northern boundary the unit. 

This unit is undeveloped.

↑ back to top

MAP: Suwanee Creek Unit

The Suwanee Creek Unit is the fifth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 337.5 downstream to river mile 337.9. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Chattahoochee Drive is the only road that provides access to the unit. 

This unit is undeveloped.

↑ back to top

MAP: Abbotts Bridge Unit

The Abbotts Bridge Unit is the sixth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east and west side of the river from river mile 334.5 downstream to river mile 336.2. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County to the west and Gwinnett County to the east..

Abbotts Bridge Road or Route 120 provides access to the unit. Parking is available in the park.

This unit has a boat, canoe, and raft launch. There is also access to a picnic area and restrooms.

↑ back to top

MAP: Medlock Bridge Unit

The Medlock Bridge Unit is the seventh land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 330.8 downstream to river mile 331.2. The upstream boundary is with The unit is in unincorporated Gwinnett County.

This unit has a parking area, picnic areas, hiking trails, and a boat, canoe, and raft launch.

↑ back to top

MAP: Jones Bridge Unit

The Jones Bridge Unit is the eighth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west side of the river from river mile 326.7 downstream to river mile 328.7. The unit is in [unincorporated Gwinnett County.

Two roads provides access to the unit. East Jones Bridge Road in the north, noted that the bridge is closed, and Barnwell Road to the south and west with a boat, canoe, and raft launch.

This unit has a parking area, picnic area, hiking trails, canoe and raft launch,  wheelchair-accessible trail, and restrooms.

Features in the unit include the following:

  • Jones Bridge Park, operated by Gwinnett County, with parking and picnic areas
  • Jones Bridge Shoals
  • Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center (CREEC) is located in the southern part of the Jones Bridge unit
↑ back to top

MAP: Holcomb Bridge Unit

The Holcomb Bridge Unit is the ninth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 325.0 downstream to river mile 325.2. The unit is in  unincorporated Fulton County.

Holcomb Bridge Road provides access to the north part of the  unit.

This unit is undeveloped.

Feature in the unit include the following:

  • Holcomb Bridge
  • Garrard Landing, operated by City of Roswell, a parking area and a canoe and raft launch found here.
↑ back to top

MAP: Island Ford Unit

The Island Ford Unit is the tenth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the east side of the river from river mile 318.3 downstream to river mile 320.2. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Route 19 or Route 400 pass the west boundary of the unit. Roberts Drive travels along the unit boundary closest to the highway. Island Ford Parkway connects Roberts Drive to Island Ford Park Headquarters, information station. 

At the Island Ford Park Headquarters, one can find: parking area, ranger station, picnic area, hiking trails, canoe and raft launch, wheelchair-accessible trail, and restrooms.

Features in the unit include the following:

  • Island Ford Shoals
  • Don White Memorial Park, operated by City of Roswell, parking area found here
↑ back to top

MAP: Vickery Creek Unit

The Vickery Creek Unit is the eleventh land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west side of the river from river mile 317.4 downstream to river mile 317.5. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Grimes Bridge Road to the north, Oxbo Drive to the west, and Roswell Road to the south.

Vickery Creek Unit has a parking area, picnic area, and hiking trails. 

Features in the unit include the following:

  • Allenbrook in the southern part of the unit
  • Riverside Park, operated by the City of Roswell, to the northeast. One can find a parking area, picnic area, and restrooms here. 
  • Waller Park, operated by the City of Roswell, to the north
↑ back to top

MAP: Gold Branch Unit

The Gold Branch Unit is the twelfth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west side of the river from river mile 314.9 downstream to river mile 313.0. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Timber Ridge Road is perpendicular to the northern most part of the unit. This road meets up with Roswell Road that travels north to south.

At the Gold Branch Unit, one can find: parking area, picnic area, and hiking trails.

Features around the unit include the following:

  •  East is the Chattahoochee River Park, operated by Fulton County and City of Roswell. Here one can find a parking area, picnic area, and boat, canoe, and raft launch.
  • East is the Chattahoochee Nature Center
  • Southeast on the eastside of the river in the Dunwoody Nature Center
↑ back to top

MAP: Johnson Ferry Unit

The Johnson Ferry Unit is the thirteenth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west side of the river from river mile 312.5 downstream to river mile 309.7. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Johnson Ferry Road passes through the unit at river mile 310.5. Perpendicular on the west side of the Chattahoochee River traveling south is the Columns Drive.

At the Johnson Ferry Unit off of Johnson Ferry Road, one can find: parking area, hiking trails, canoe, boat and raft launch, and restrooms. At the Johnson Ferry Unit off of Columns Drive, one can find: a parking area and a picnic area.

Features around the unit include the following:

  • North is Morgan Falls Park, operated by Fulton County, one can find a parking area and a boat, canoe, and raft launch.
↑ back to top

MAP: Cochran Shoals Unit

The Cochran Shoals Unit is the fourteenth land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west and east side of the river from river mile 306.3 downstream to river mile 308.0 before heading northwest from the Chattahoochee River. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Paper Mill Road boarders the northern most boundary and continues northeast. Columns Drive connects the Johnson Ferry unit with the Cochran Shoals following the western side of the Chattahoochee River until it reaches river mile 308 at a parking area. Powers Ferry Road curves around the southern boundary of the unit. The road continues till it joins Interstate North Parkway crossing the Chattahoochee River and passes the eastern unit boundary. 

Cochran Shoals unit has multiple locations for different amenities. Locations listed northwest to southeast. Slope Creek includes a parking area, picnic area, hiking trail, and bicycle trail. At river mile 308.0 there is a parking area. At river mile 307.2 one can find hiking trails, wheelchair-accessible trails, restrooms, and bicycle trails. Power Island has a parking area, hiking trail, and canoe and raft launch on the east side of the Chattahoochee River. The west side has a parking area and picnic area. 

Features in the unit include the following:

  • Paper Mill Ruins in the northern boundary
  • Cochran Shoals in the southern part of the unit
↑ back to top

MAP: Palisades Unit

The Palisades Unit is the fifteenth and last land unit of the park as you head down stream. The unit is on the west and east side of the river from river mile 303.5 downstream to river mile 306.1. The unit is in unincorporated Fulton County.

Route 75 crosses over the Chattahoochee River in the southern section of the Palisades unit. 

The Palisades unit has multiple locations for amenities. Off Indian Trail on the east side of Chattahoochee River is a parking area and hiking trail, this trail leads to an Overlook above Devils Race Course Shoals. South of this area is a parking area and picnic area off the roads of Harris Trail and Whitewater Creek Road. On the west side of Chattahoochee River in the northern part of the unit off Akers Drive is a parking area, hiking trail, and restrooms. In the southern part of the unit on the west side of Chattahoochee River in Paces Mill, here is a parking area, picnic area, hiking trail, boat, canoe, and raft launch and restrooms found off of Paces Mill Road. 

Features in the unit include the following:

  • Devils Race Course Shoals found in northern part of the unit
  • Thornton Shoals
  • Long Island Shoals
↑ back to top

MAP: Other Public Lands

Located along the Chattahoochee River within the park boundaries are 10 developed area shown on the map from north to south. These lands are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and several counties and cities along the river.

  1. Lake Sidney Lanier (Army Corps of Engineers): parking, hiking trails, boat, canoe, and raft launch, and restrooms
  2. Buford Trout Hatchery (Georgia Department of Natural Resources)
  3. Unnamed Area (Georgia Department of Natural Resources)
  4. Jones Bridge Park (Gwinnett County): parking and picnic areas
  5. Garrard Landing (City of Roswell): parking and canoe and raft launch
  6. Don White Memorial Park (City of Roswell): parking
  7. Riverside Park (City of Roswell): parking, picnic areas, and restrooms
  8. Waller Park (City of Roswell)
  9. Chattahoochee River Park (Fulton County and City of Roswell): Chattahoochee Nature Center, parking, picnic areas, and boat, canoe, and raft launch
  10. Morgan Falls Park (Fulton County): parking and boat, canoe, and raft launch
↑ back to top

MAP: Communities Surrounding Park

Starting at the upper end on the map and heading south or downstream on the map you will find three counties.


The northern most county is Gwinnett County and it abuts the river from the beginning of the park below Buford Dam, river mile 348, to Holcomb Bridge, approximately river mile 325.5. The following communities shown on the map that are located within the boundaries of the county are as follows from north to south. Communities with an * next to their name border the river.

  • City of Buford
  • City of Sugar Hill *
  • City of Duluth *
  • City of Suwanee *
  • City of Berkeley Lake * 
  • City of Peachtree Corners * 
  • City of Norcross

Fulton County begins where Gwinnett County ends at Holcomb Bridge, approximately river mile 325.5, and continues to the end of the park at the mouth of Peachtree Creek, river mile 300.5.The following communities shown on the map that are located within the boundaries of the county are as follows from north to south. Communities with an * next to their name border the river.

  • Sandy Springs *
  • Atlanta *

South of Gwinnett County and east of Fulton County is DeKalb County. While it does not abut the river it is shown on the map and many roads through the county provides access to the river. The following communities are shown on the map.

  • City of Doraville
  • City of Dunwoody
  • City of Chamblee

↑ back to top


OVERVIEW: Accessibility

No information is listed on the brochure regarding accessibility. Please refer to the parks website at www.nps.gov/chat for up to date information on accessibility. 

Additional website information:

The Island Ford Visitor Center offers a braille version of the park brochure.




↑ back to top


OVERVIEW: More information

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is one of over 418 parks in the National Park System. The National Park Service cares for these special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. Visit www.nps.gov to learn more about parks and National Park Service programs in communities.

Address:
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
1978 Island Ford Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30350-3400

Phone:
678-538-1200

Website:
www.nps.gov/chat

Emergencies call:
911 or 770-952-0370

For River Conditions:
Buford Dam call: 770-945-1466
Morgan Falls Dam call: 404-329-1455




↑ back to top


By using this site, you agree to follow our Terms, Conditions, License, Privacy Policy, and Research Protocols.