Family at a campsite with kayaks

Escape to Chattahoochee Bend State Park, a Nature Lover’s Paradise

Kick Back & Relax With Nature!

Solitude & Ecological Diversity

Sometimes we need to get away from it all, and there’s no better destination to easily do this than Chattahoochee Bend State Park. As one of the newest and largest parks in the state, Chattahoochee Bend offers something for everyone within its nearly 3,000 picturesque acres.

“Two things I love about Chattahoochee Bend are the solitude and ecological diversity,” says Phil LaRue, president of Friends of Chattahoochee Bend. “[The park] is so quiet and peaceful; it’s easy to just kick back and relax the day away. Whether you string up a hammock and take a nap or hike one of the many trails, you’re guaranteed to find a special spot to forget your day-to-day cares and decompress.”

Water Adventures

If you’re planning a Chattahoochee Bend adventure, you’ll want to gather essentials ahead of time, including sunblock, lunch or snacks, beverages, insect repellent, and whatever else your family might need. The park is known for being wonderfully remote—perfect for unplugging—but if you do forget any items, there’s a great little store at the visitors center that carries basic necessities, some branded items, and even souvenirs.

Take your pick from a variety of activities once you arrive. Water lovers will delight in five miles of riverfront—use the boat access to launch into the river or choose to paddleboard to get closer to scenery. For a water excursion with a challenge, start paddling at the Highway 16 bridge boat ramp, and get ready for a few shoals, plus class 1 and class 2 rapids. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent, or you can bring your own. If you’re not a boat person, don’t despair; fishing is another pastime the park offers, and the observation deck is a fine spot to check out native flora and fauna.

Trails for All Skill Levels

To view more unspoiled nature, explore 12 miles of beautiful, peaceful trails for walking, running, or biking. Hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife? The Turkey Head Trail, about 4.4 miles in length, is a beginner’s level trail offering beautiful views and solitude. Slightly more challenging is the Brown Thrasher Trail, 1.6 miles in length and dipping into a steep ravine after starting off mostly flat, then dropping again. Or try Trailhead 1 to Riverside Tower, a moderate level trail of 6.1 SPOTLIGHT miles that features an observation tower on the river.

For guests who want to stay overnight, Chattahoochee Bend has options for all comfort levels. Choose from different camping experiences, including backcountry campsites for a taste of wilderness, platform camping, walk-in campsites, and RV/trailer sites. Prefer not to rough it? Book one of the three cottages and relax with a full kitchen and screened-in porch.

Flora, Fauna, and Family

Nature photographers will relish opportunities to glimpse otters, beavers, bald eagles, and ospreys along the river, says Phil Delestrez, northern natural resources manager for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. He notes that there’s also birch, hackberry, and native river cane along the bottomland forest.

Visitors often spot turkeys, deer, and a variety of gorgeous birds, including hawks, and the park’s flat-rock granite outcrops are vibrant with yellow daisies in autumn and white, yellow, or red daisies in spring. “Chattahoochee Bend is a naturalist’s dream,” he says.

By: Denise K. James (Atlanta Magazine Custom Media)

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