Buckhead’s Chattahoochee National Recreation Area is a sanctuary in the city. Located so close to the heart of Buckhead, this beautiful recreation area is an idyllic spot to hike the many elevations overlooking Atlanta’s serene landscapes. One of the allures of Buckhead living is the juxtaposition of big-city conveniences with the simple pleasures of small rural communities.
Designated as part of the larger National Parks system in 1978 by Georgia-born President Jimmy Carter, Buckhead’s portion of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area represents over 400 acres of pristine wildlife with 10+ miles of hiking trails, stunning views, and opportunities for water sports such as rafting, kayaking, tubing, and fishing on the Chattahoochee River.
The river itself is one of Georgia’s premier trout streams, offering great fishing opportunities along scenic stretches. You will often see fly fishermen wearing waders in this portion of the river. The lush trees that flank the river are home to an array of native animals and flora. Visitors enjoy recreation there in the form of both strenuous and leisurely hikes that lead to picturesque vistas, one particularly popular hike in Buckhead can be found in the Palisades-Whitewater Creek area.
Popular for summer water sports, the river is used for tubing, known to locals colloquially as “shooting the hooch,” which involves renting inflatable tubes and loading up coolers to leisurely float from Powers Ferry to Paces Mill. Kayakers and canoers also enjoy the wide and calm waters of the Chattahoochee, occasionally punctuated by rocky outcroppings that create mild rapids.
The river is considered Atlanta’s waterfront, and has a long and storied history dating back to when Native Americans relied on it for fishing and hunting, the river often acting as division between various tribal lands. Later, as colonists settled in the area, the river was used for transportation of goods and materials both in war and for consumers. Many of the bridges and roads nearby are still named after those early ferries and mills that provided mobility options and industry: Howell Mill, Paces Ferry Road, and Akers Mill, just to name a few.
Untouched natural beauty, like that found in Chattahoochee National Park, is priceless, and Buckhead’s section of the park is this thriving community’s best wilderness hike.
Two trailheads provide access to the East Palisades trails along the Chattahoochee. The Indian Trail Trailhead, and the Whitewater Trailhead
Chattahoochee River National Park is a Buckhead escape. Whether you live by the water, in the forests, or frequently hike the trails, this natural wonder will take your breath away.
Buckhead Locals Say…
“It’s really a treasure… There aren’t any buildings here, nothing commercial or industrial… Just peaceful trails for acres and acres, and every season is beautiful.”
“It has it’s own unique niches, showing the human infrastructure incorporated with preserving our natural systems.”
“We are outdoor enthusiasts so we love getting out and appreciating the wilderness.”
“I come here every week after work, if it’s a nice day I walk for about an hour. There’s always something new no matter which trail you take.”
Check out out top 3 things to do at the river!