Island Ford Trail: top Chattahoochee River hikes in metro Atlanta

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.)

Autumn reflections at the Island Ford park on the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta

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 Chattahoochee 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.

The Island Ford trail hikes beside large rock outcrops on the Chattahoochee River banks

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.

Wildlife are common along the Island Ford hiking trail on the Chattachoochee River near Roswell

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.

Island Ford Trail on the Chattahoochee River: Directions & Details


$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

33.987313,-84.325466     //     N33 59.239 W84 19.528

Driving Directions

Elevation Profile

Island Ford Trail on the Chattahoochee River in Roswell, GA: Elevation Profile

Island Ford 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.