Gold Branch Trail: hiking the Chattahoochee River near Roswell, GA

Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River

Hike the banks of the Chattahoochee River on the Gold Branch Trail near Roswell, Georgia, exploring 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 in a serene, barely perceptible flow.

Gold Branch park on the Chattahoochee River near Roswell

The Gold Branch Trail treks beautiful landscape on the banks of the Chattahoochee and Bull Sluice Lake, rich with cattails 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.

Running, walking and hiking trails near Atlanta: Gold Branch Chattahoochee Park

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, exploring a young hardwood 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 tree line.

The running and hiking trails at Gold Branch follow the Chattahoochee River and Bull Sluice Lake

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.

The Gold Branch trail running and hiking trails travel a wildlife-filled forest near Atlanta

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.

Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River: Directions & Details

Parking

$3 day pass, or included with a Chattahoochee River NRA annual pass

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a cell phone signal to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

GPS Coordinates

33.984898, -84.387020     //     N33 59.061 W84 23.115

Driving Directions


Elevation Profile

Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River: Elevation Profile

Gold Branch Trail on the Chattahoochee River Map

Trail data and photos © Summit19 Studio LLC. This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
 
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.