Jones Bridge Trail on the Chattahoochee River
The Jones Bridge Trail travels the Chattahoochee's Jones Bridge Park to the remnants of an old bridge and beautiful Chattahoochee River views.
The Jones Bridge Trail hikes the Chattahoochee River’s scenic banks in the city of Johns Creek, visiting the remnants of a turn-of-the-century bridge and trailing through beautiful, riverside forest. The moderate hike on this 4.6 mile loop gently rolls elevation on the river’s banks, catching views of the river’s whitewater shoals and its wildlife-filled forest.
Our favorite time to hike the Jones Bridge Trail? Cool, early mornings mix a golden sunrise with occasional fog that follows the river’s currents.
Jones Bridge Trail on the Chattahoochee River: the hike
The Jones Bridge Trail departs the park’s trailhead (view maps and driving directions), trailing north from the parking area and skirting around a metal gate to follow a gravel roadbed. The trail arcs eastbound, gently rolling elevation before approaching the Chattahoochee River and crossing a small stream. The trail reaches the metal remnants of Jones Bridge at .45 mile. The bridge, built in 1904, was dismantled and largely stolen in the 1940s – its shell and pilings are all that remain.
Departing the bridge, the Jones Bridge Trail turns west, following the Chattahoochee River downstream as it contours the river’s banks. The trail passes a series of whitewater shoals at .6 mile, meandering through large boulders and angular rock outcrops bordering the trail. The trail passes a boat launch at .75 mile, diving into dense forest on the river’s banks. The Jones Bridge Trail continues to contour the Chattahoochee River’s banks, crossing a large wooden suspension bridge at 1 mile.
The trail hikes across the park’s paved boat ramp at 1.25 miles before crossing a second wooden suspension bridge and diving back under the shady forest canopy. Side trails depart trail right, visiting the wide-flowing Chattahoochee River and its forested banks.
The Jones Bridge Trail departs the river at 1.5 miles, crossing a gravel road and climbing wooden stairs westbound to gain elevation in a vibrantly green, leafy forest. Deer are a common sight here on the trail, especially in early morning and late evening. A network of trails crisscross throughout this section of the park; the hike follows the Jones Bridge Trail, veering left through trail intersections, hiking southbound to return to the Chattahoochee River’s shore.
The Jones Bridge Trail reaches the river’s banks after crossing a cleared, unpaved road at 2 miles, arcing southwest to follow the river downstream.
Views of the river’s meandering shore break through the dense forest on trail left as the hike continues trailing the Chattahoochee River. The trail loops westbound, away from the river, at 2.35 miles before arcing back to the river’s shore. The hike meets a signed intersection at 2.75 miles, turing right to hike to the smaller of two lakes to the north. The hike crosses a mulched road at 2.85 miles, continuing straight on the Jones Bridge Trail northeast-bound to the lake, crossing through a densely vegetated meadow.
The trail reaches the lake at 3 miles, trailing the lake’s shore and catching reflective views from its glassy water.
A remote alpine lake? Not quite: several houses border the small lake on its opposite shore, but it’s worthy of a visit. Departing the lake, the trail splits into a number of fragmented trails. The trails all share a common destination: the outbound Jones Bridge Trail that returns to the trailhead. This hike takes a right at 3.1 miles, a left at 3.15 miles, and crosses a grassy, pine-filled flat before trailing straight through a 4-way trail intersection at 3.25 miles for the most direct route back to the main, outbound trail.
Reaching the outbound trail at 3.3 miles, the hike turns left on the Jones Bridge Trail, retracing its steps through the rolling-elevation forest northeast toward the trailhead. The trail traces the Chattahoochee River, hiking upstream and trekking across the park’s paved boat launch at 4.5 miles before reaching the trailhead at 4.6 miles, completing the hike.