Picture yourself in a boat on a river...the trees might be pine and the skies are blue, not marmalade, but a day spent exploring the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a dream worthy of escaping into any day.
Established in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) preserves a series of sites between Atlanta and Lake Sidney Lanier, along a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River.
Three CRNRA trail units (Powers Island, East Palisades and Island Ford) and 22 miles of Chattahoochee River river shoreline are located in Sandy Springs, providing endless opportunities for picnicking, fishing, hiking and wildlife-viewing all year-round. With Nantahala Outdoor Center operating two rental outposts within the CRNRA from May to September, it has become even easier to kayak, paddleboard and float on the ‘Hooch.
One of the first pieces of land purchased for the CRNRA was Island Ford in Sandy Springs. The Island Ford Visitor Center and National Park Service headquarters are located in the historic Hewlett Lodge. The building was once home to noted jurist Samuel Hewlett.
The Chattahoochee River is a stocked trout stream with 23 species of game fish. Year-round fishing is available with a Georgia fishing license and a trout stamp.
In 2012, the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area was designated as the Chattahoochee River Water Trail to become the first river named a National Water Trail. The National Water Trails System was created by the U.S. Department of the Interior to increase access to water-based outdoor recreation, encourage community stewardship of local waterways, and promote tourism.