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, Georgia’s largest urban green space environment, the 48-mile (77 km) stretch of the river affords public recreation opportunities and access to historic sites,
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, it has become even easier to kayak, paddleboard and float on the ‘Hooch and experience an unforgettable summer day floating down the cool waters.
One of the first pieces of land purchased for the CRNRA was Island Ford in Sandy Springs. Today the massive headquarters building of the National Park Service, the Hewlett Lodge, is located in the building that once was home to noted Jurist Samuel Hewlett. The dark hewn lumber on the outside of the building was brought by Hewlett to Island Ford from the Okeefenokee Swamp and the inside features Stone Mountain gneiss.
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.