Island Ford Trail: hiking Island Ford Park on the Chattahoochee River
Hike the Island Ford Trail to scenic views on the Chattahoochee River, exploring a wildlife-filled forest and several caves near Roswell, Georgia.
Island Ford Park hosts three miles of hiking trails following the grand, wide-flowing Chattahoochee River in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area north of Atlanta. This hike trails a wildlife-filled forest on the Island Ford Trail and visits several large outcrops on a loop through the 300 acre park. (This Island Ford hike is one many fantastic Chattahoochee River trails near Atlanta – check out more Chattahoochee River hikes from Atlanta Trails.)
Island Ford Park Trail: the hike
The trail departs the Island Ford State Park’s 1930s log-constructed park headquarters (view maps and driving directions, dropping elevation as it approaches the Chattachoochee River. The hike turns left as it meets the river’s edge, crossing a wooden bridge before diving into the forest flanking the riverine shoreline. The trail follows the contours of the river’s banks, hiking past large, cave-like overhanging rock outcrops. According to archeologists, these caves likely provided shelter to the early native tribes that lived and hunted in the wildlife-rich Chattahoochee River valley here in north Georgia.
The Island Ford Trail arcs west, gaining elevation and departing the widening river. Wildlife, including deer, geese and lizard, are abundant and often sighted here in the more remote stretches of the park.
The trail crosses several trickling streams as it rolls elevation through the young forest, rising and falling over several moderately elevated ridges. The loop hike begins a descent toward the Chattahoochee River, dropping to meet the riverside trail and turning south to retrace to the Island Ford Park trailhead, completing the hike at 2 miles.