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Georgia Hikes: Island Ford Trail

The Island Ford Trail is a simple trail along the Chattahoochee River that is good for a quick and easy mid-week hike.

Discover the beauty and adventure of hiking the Island Ford Trail in Atlanta, Georgia, along the majestic Chattahoochee River.

Island Ford Trail

This stunning 2-mile hike is just waiting to be explored! From the wildlife and bird watching to the peaceful riverfront serenity, the Island Ford Trail offers a path for adventurers of all levels.

Lace up your hiking boots and set off to connect with nature along the Island Ford Trail!

Island Ford Park

Island Ford Trail

Located at Island Ford Park the Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area in Sandy Springs, Georgia, the Island Ford Trail is an easy 2 mile hike.

The hike begins at the park’s Visitor Center located in the historic Hewlett Lodge. This lodge was once the summer home of Georgia Superior Court Justice Samuel Hewlett. The log and stone home was constructed in the 1930s.

Island Ford Trail Hike

Island Ford Trail

The trail begins with a drop in elevation from the parking lot as you walk down to the Chattahoochee River. Once you hit the river, turn left to follow the water to the north.

As the trail follows along the banks of the river, you’ll cross a wooden bridge and pass large rock overhangs where Native Americans used to shelter. Native villages used to flourish along this part of the river.

It is only a short walk along the river before you begin the loop at trail marker 14. We took the trail on the left, opting to start our hike with the short, moderate climb in elevation into the wooded forest.

Soon, you’ll cross Summerbrook Creek and passing through a young hardwood forest. Keep an eye out for wildlife that loves to frequent this remote stretch of the park.

Keep right at the next intersection, trail marker 19, to continue the loop. When you reach trail marker 18, keep to the left. Shortly after, you’ll reach trail marker 17 where you’ll want to keep right.

About 1 mile into the hike, the trail begins to descend in elevation back toward the riverbanks. When you reach the river again at trail marker 22, turn right to follow the river back. We took a break to hop across rocks into the river to get a good view upstream. This is a great spot for a sunset hike.

The mile back then follows the riverbank. The trail again passes the many large, cave-like overhanging rock outcrops that provided shelter to early native tribes. After crossing again over a wooden bridge, the loop rejoins the trailhead back to the parking lot.

Island Ford Trail Visitor Tips

Since the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is part of the National Parks System, there is a $5 day pass fee you have to pay. You can leave your payment in the parking lot drop boxes.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

Nearby Hiking Trails

Looking for more hiking trails in Atlanta? Check out more of these amazing Georgia hikes:

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Georgia Hikes: Island Ford Trail

Have you hiked the Island Ford Trail in Sandy Springs, Georgia? Let me know in the comments!

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