Hike the Powers Island Trail on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, exploring the historic Powers Island and the river’s rocky, boulder-filled banks.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 2.6 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: easyeasy to
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 River near Atlanta, 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

The Powers Island Trail is one of the lesser-traveled trails of Atlanta’s Chattahoochee National Recreation Area. Serene and sometimes deserted, this quiet hiking and running trail loops through a beautiful riverside forest. The trail explores an island, an inlet, and the banks of the shoaling Chattahoochee River on a 2.5-mile trail loop near Vinings.

It’s the “other” trail at the Chattahoochee’s angular, whitewater-filled Cochran Shoals. And yes, it’s more than just overflow parking for its exceptionally popular trail neighbor, the Cochran Shoals Trail. In contrast to the broad trails at Cochran Shoals, the width of this trail is comparatively tight – so it’s perfect for small hiking groups or single-file trail runs. And it’s arguably more scenic than the trail across the river – though it’s slightly more challenging, with a mid-trail climb to a riverside ridge.

Powers Island Trail: hike to a historic on the Chattahoochee River in metro Atlanta

Hike the Powers Island Trail on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, exploring the historic Powers Island and the river's rocky, boulder-filled banks. #hiking #running #trailrunning #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Powers Island Trail: the hike

The adventure begins at the signed trailhead southern perimeter of the parking area (view maps and driving directions). The route catches the best Chattahoochee River views early in the hike, crossing a metal bridge and setting foot on Powers Island, and hiking west toward the wide, shoaling Chattahoochee River. The island’s name shares roots with the nearby Powers Ferry Road: James Powers operated a ferry from the island during the early 1800s, providing access across the wide, whitewater-filled Chattahoochee River.

The trail meets the river’s banks at a kayak and canoe takeout and swings northwest, following the river’s banks and hiking through a densely vegetated forest. The trail reaches the northern tip of the island, looping southeast to trace a shallow, smooth flowing inlet back toward the bridge.

The trail’s island loop completes at .7 mile, reaching and crossing the bridge. The hike crosses the parking area, departing from the park’s northeast trailhead. The trail runs an old gravel roadbed, hiking through a forest studded with large rock outcrops and old stacked-stone walls.

Powers Island Trail: hike to beautiful Chattahoochee River views in Atlanta

The route follows a number of trails on the river’s shore. Two parallel trails follow the contours of the Chattahoochee River, offering wide-open river views after passing the island at 1 mile. Hike side trails, departing on the trail’s left, for the best views.

The trail crosses through a bamboo thicket before reaching the park’s northern boundary at 1.3 miles, turning to retrace the hike southbound. The route veers left on the return hike to follow a loop, grabbing elevation on a nearby ridge. The loop hikes through an ivy and vine-filled deciduous forest, where wildflowers and mushrooms stretch to reach sunlight in warm summertime months.

On the crest of the ridge, old stacked-stone retaining walls terrace the forest, now covered in thick tendrils of emerald ivy.

Powers Island Trail: hike to an ivy-covered ridge on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta

Departing the ridge at 2 miles, the hike levels and retraces the shores of the Chattahoochee River, crossing several bridges and catching views of the island across the inlet. The hike reaches the parking area trailhead at 2.5 miles, finishing the adventure.


Powers Island Trail 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 Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy. 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 day pass, or included with a Chattahoochee River NRA annual pass.


GPS Coordinates

33.903817, -84.442167     //     N33 54.229 W84 26.530

Elevation Profile

Powers Island Trail at the Chattahoochee River: Elevation Profile
 
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

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

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.