Hike the Riverside and Bend Trails at Chattahoochee Bend State Park, following the river’s scenic banks to a lookout tower and stunning views.

georgia hiking trails: 6 or more miles 10 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: moderaterelatively
moderate
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
friendly
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Peachtree City, Georgia

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack, our hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

WEAR: Our ultra-soft Atlanta Trails shirts and mountain logo hats

Chattahoochee Bend State Park is nestled in a broad meander of the Chattahoochee River west of Newnan, Georgia, and it’s one of the newest of the Georgia State Parks. This hike on the Chattahoochee Bend River Trail combines the Chattahoochee Bend Riverside Trail and Bend Trail for a 10-mile hike along the river’s shores. The adventure visits a wooden observation tower with beautiful river views, climbs over two boulder-strewn peaks, and passes through several grassy clearings with great wildlife-spotting opportunities.

This hike also offers camping, for an overnight backpacking adventure. Platform campsites are located along the river’s banks at this hike’s 5.4-mile mark; they’re accessible only via kayak, canoe, or this hike on Riverside-Bend Trail. If you’re interested in staying the night, campsite reservations are required: visit the Chattahoochee Bend State Park HQ or the Georgia State Parks website for details.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park: hike the Riverside and Bend Trails to beautiful river views

Hike the Riverside and Bend Trails at Chattahoochee Bend State Park, following the river's scenic banks to a lookout tower and stunning views. #hiking #running #trailrunning #camping #backpacking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Chattahoochee Bend State Park River Trail: the hike

The adventure begins at the day-use trailhead on the banks of the Chattahoochee River (view maps and driving directions), following the white-blazed trail along the wide-flowing river toward the park’s observation tower. Old-growth, broad-trunked trees dot the trail, towering over the surrounding younger deciduous forest and patches of native bamboo grasses.

Vines climb skyward along the trail, stretching to reach sunlight in the forest canopy. The trail crosses a bridge spanning a Chattahoochee tributary, Turkey Creek, before reaching a recently-constructed wood observation tower at 1 mile.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park: hike to a wooden oberservation tower on the banks of the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta

The hike departs the tower, following white trail blazes, catching views of the Chattahoochee River sporadically on the trail’s left side. The Riverside Trail turns eastward, diving deeper into Chattahoochee Bend’s forest and crossing a bridge. The hike loops westward to return to the river banks, circling a massive-trunked old-growth maple tree and crossing the river’s sandy, compacted floodplain.

The hike passes a rocky ridge dotted with fern and lichen-covered rock outcrops that rise from the surrounding river flats. The trail darts away from the river to cross a small tributary creek before looping westbound back to the Chattahoochee’s banks.

Views stretch up and downstream from this raised vantage point on the riverine shore, and a bench offers a mid-hike refueling spot with a view. The hike departs the river, following the white-blazed Bend Trail and rising elevation to climb a small ridge. Fern and grass line the trail sides, carpeting the forest floor in shades of vibrant green.

Armored armadillos are a common sight here on the trail, often oblivious to the presence of hikers presence as they dig and forage for grubs.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park: hike through a wildlife-filled forest and a chance to spot foraging armadillos on the river's scenic banks

The trail reaches the ridge summit at 2.6 miles, turning to roll elevation in a wide meander past two large, slab rock outcrops. The trail approaches the Chattahoochee River once again. A diamond-blazed side trail offers excellent river views, some of the best at Chattahoochee Bend, at 3 miles.

The Bend Trail departs the river to roll over several small knobs, continually changing elevation. The hike dives through a fragrant, young evergreen forest at 3.8 miles before reaching a grassy clearing at 4 miles. The clearing’s golden grasses contrast brilliantly with the blue sky overhead and the green pine sprinkled throughout the open expanse.

The Bend Trail flanks the clearing’s edge, crossing two wooden bridges. The trail tramples the long needles carpeting a pine grove’s floor before crossing a narrow, grassy clearing. The forest is rigidly linear and regularly spaced, comprised entirely of pine. The trail playfully weaves through the linearly-spaced pine forest, darting between rows among the trees.

Exiting the pine grove, the trail curves northward, meeting a gravel road and reaching its end at 5 miles. Have a platform campsite reservation? Depart the trail and turn left, following the gravel road to the remote, numbered campsites along the Chattahoochee River’s broad bend.

Out for a day hike? Turn here to retrace your hike to the trailhead, retracing the white-blazed Bend and Riverside trails through Chattahoochee Bend State Park’s riverine forest, completing the hike at 10 miles.


Chattahoochee Bend Riverside & Bend Trails Map, Directions & Details

This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Friends of Georgia State Parks. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions



Parking

$5, or included with a Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites membership.


GPS Coordinates

33.429550, -85.012183     //     N33 25.773 W85 00.731

Elevation Profile

Chattahoochee Bend State Park: Riverside & Bend Trails Elevation Profile
 
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Eric Champlin
Author

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, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.