Island Ford, in the northeast corner of Sandy Springs, could be considered the heart of the CRNRA. It’s home to the National Park Service headquarters and visitor center, and it’s a big draw for all types of outdoor fun, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The Chattahoochee is a stocked trout stream, and you’ll likely see fly fishermen trying their luck out in the water. The most accessible of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area 16 ancient rock shelters are located at Island Ford.
At Island Ford, you can spend your time soaking up history at the Hewlett Lodge visitors center or hike the easy-to-moderate 5.5-mile trail that hugs the banks of the river before cutting back through woodlands. The Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except December 25th.
The park lands and waters are open for day-use only from dawn to dusk year round. Dawn is defined as 30 minutes before legal sunrise and dusk is defined as 30 minutes after legal sunset. The sunrise and sunset hours are posted at the information kiosk located throughout the park.