Island Ford Trail

Roswell, Georgia 30076

Island Ford Trail

Island Ford Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The 297-acre Island Ford Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) has been retained in as natural a condition as possible for almost a century, first by the original private owners and later by the National Park Service. The mature hardwood forest at this site is a fine example of what the Piedmont area of Georgia might have looked like before it was cleared and developed.

This is a great natural area, especially for a highly residential portion of metropolitan Atlanta, to find a variety of spring and summer wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The area also contains a number of rock shelters along the river, as well as shoals within the stream."

More Island Ford Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"When President Jimmy Carter created the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in 1978, this site, including the former retreat of Judge Samuel Hewlett (ca. 1930s), was selected as headquarters. Today the log and stone structure is the park’s visitor center. Nineteenth-century pioneers, settling this area after removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears, sought shallow fords to bring their families across the river. One such site was here at Island Ford. Today the rocky shoals attract fly-fishers, while hikers trek along the banks and through the surrounding hills." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Atlanta (Menasha Ridge Press)
Randy & Pam Golden
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"This hike explores the floodplain and watershed of the Chattahoochee in the vicinity of Island Ford, one of the river’s first commonly used fords." Read more
Best Hikes Atlanta (Falcon Guides)
Ren and Helen Davis
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"Following removal of the Cherokee from northern Georgia, pioneers moved into this area, establishing the nearby town of Roswell on bluffs above the Chattahoochee and carving out farms along the waterway. There were few ferries across the river, so settlers crossed at shallow fords. One such site was Island Ford. When President Jimmy Carter created the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in 1978, this site included the former vacation home of Judge Samuel Hewett (c. 1930s). Today, the rustic log and stone structure serves as the national recreation area’s headquarters and visitor center." Read more
Hiking Georgia (Falcon Guides)
Donald Pfitzer
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"The 297-acre Island Ford Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) has been retained in as natural a condition as possible for almost a century, first by the original private owners and later by the National Park Service. Sapelo Island is a designated Limited Access Island. The only access to the island for hiking or staying overnight is on the ferry operated by the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, which leaves the mainland from the dock at the Sapelo Island Visitor Center for Marsh Landing on the island. Reservations must be made in advance.The round-trip is $10.00 per adult and $6.00 per child. There is no docking space assigned for private boats at Marsh Landing. The best way to visit Sapelo Island is to arrange a personal tour, lodging, or other services with one of the concessionaires in Hog Hammock." Read more

Island Ford Trail Reviews

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10/28/2018
A lot of road noise on this trail. But it’s close to where I’m visiting and over 2 miles. Happy I checked it out. Pay station. $5. Being correct change. There was a lot of wildlife; deer, squirrels, chipmunks, a cardinal. The trail was very worn. A little slippery in places with wet leaves. Easy terrain and a loop trail. Encountered very few people on a Sunday morning. But by the time I got close to the parking lot there were many people heading down the trail.
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5/5/2018
Flat, easy for kids, and lots of wildlife and interesting trees and rock formations, and of course the river!
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1/29/2011
Nothing particularly challenging or scenic about this trail. The second half of the hike is good for families with it's flat terrain and mostly paved paths; you can take the Lake Trail in the forest to get off the paved Path portion. Good weather this weekend but this would suck in the summer heat since you're walking around a rock quarry. Did come across 3 geocaches that are family friend. IN SUMMARY - great for people with kids under 10 or if you just need to get on a trail in the winter; otherwise, leave it behind.
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9/1/2010
I drove to Panola state park first hoping to do some biking/hiking. The parking lot there felt rundown and the trails looked unkempt so I drove up to Arabia Mtn Park. What you see first when driving from the south is an entrance on the right. This isnt where you access the trails. You have to pass several decrepit gas stations and a sketchy little area before getting to the parking lot .The trails are paved and take you right next to the busy road for a good ways which detracts from the trail bigtime. I also felt like the signage and general conditions of the parking area and paths to be substandard compared to other GA trails and parks. With such an abundance of great trails in GA, I dont see the point in driving so far for this. I would not recommend it.
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Island Ford Trail Photos

Trail Information

Roswell
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
2.2
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
1-1.5 hours
Duration
Mar–Dec
Season
National Park Service, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, 1978 Island Ford Pkwy., Atlanta 30350; (678) 538-1200; www.nps.gov./chat
Local Contacts
USGS Sandy Springs; page-size map available from the park service office or from www.nps.gov./chat
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018