Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River
Explore the banks of the Chattahoochee River on the Gold Branch Trail near Roswell, Georgia, hiking 3.25 miles through a wildlife-filled forest.
Beautiful, wildlife-rich hiking trails trace the banks of the Chattahoochee River and Bull Sluice Lake at Gold Branch park near Roswell – one of many excellent running, walking and hiking trails in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area near Atlanta. As Gold Branch is the last of the Chattahoochee parks north of the river’s dam at Morgan Falls, the Chattahoochee flows wide here in a serene, barely perceptible flow.
The Gold Branch Trail treks beautiful landscape on the banks of the Chattahoochee and Bull Sluice Lake, rich with cat tails (typha) and bog grasses. And the wildlife viewing opportunities on these often-quiet trails are excellent – heron, geese, ducks, turtles and deer frequent the mud flats here on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River: the hike
The Gold Branch Trail departs the parking area (view maps and driving directions), descending elevation before crossing a wooden bridge spanning a marshy wetland. The trail rises elevation to intersect a loop trail that splits right and left, circling the circumference of Gold Branch Park.
The trail turns left at the intersection, traveling to Bull Sluice Lake, trailing through young-timbered forest and rolling elevation. Serene views of the lake emerge trail left through the lakeside vegetation, the calm waters reflective of the opposite shore’s treeline.
The Gold Branch Trail reaches the lake’s outlet at the Chattahoochee River, rising and falling elevation in a continuous trace of the wide-flowing river’s banks and passing through a series of signed trail intersections, continuing in a southbound trace of the Chattahoochee’s banks.
At 2.5 miles, the trail ascends steeply, rising elevation far above the Chattahoochee, departing the river’s banks and turning northward. The loop rolls elevation, ring and falling over several moderate inclines and passing through several signed trail intersections. The outer loop trail meets the trailhead connector, turning left to return to the Gold Branch trailhead and parking area and completing the trail at 3.25 miles.