Winter Down at the Chattahoochee River {Georgia}

Driving home from a friends house near Atlanta this weekend and the radio comes on with Alan Jackson singing about going down yonder on the Chattahoochee. This song could be on the soundtrack of my life for all the time I heard it since I was a kid. (If you haven’t heard this song you can watch the music video of it HERE) I was singing along to the song and thinking about summer days of childhood when Brad stops me and says that we are right by the Chattahoochee River so maybe we should take a detour and go see what Alan Jackson was singing about. So with a quick turn off and some slight back tracking we found ourselves at the Chattahoochee River.

The Chattahoochee River starts up in the Appalachian Mountains and then turns west about when it hits Georgia and then kind of follows the border between Georgia and Alabama until it finally ends in the gulf. This river and the surrounding areas are part of the national park system as a national recreation area. And in 2012 it became the first National Water Trail that aims to encourage community stewardship of local waterways.

There are many different areas of the river to explore. We started at the East Palisades area where we followed the dirt path down the rocky terrain. We were surprised at how glittery the rocks were on the path and found out that this whole area is full of quartz. Coming in January is a much different experience than coming during the lush green of summer, but it was still quite a busy day on the trail. Even in the brown of winter though the beech trees give off their soft golden appearance and the waxy leaves of the magnolia trees are still vibrantly green.

East Palisades area of Chattahoochee River

Along the trail we came to an old bridge that had been wrecked by a large tree crashing through the middle of it during a high water flood last summer. They had diverted the path but I couldn’t help but think how people would get across when the rainy season comes again.

destroyed bridge from a flood

At the bottom of the trail we came to the river itself. Beautifully clear blue water met us which was surprising considering the long path that water had taken. It was easy to see why this area is so popular. Even in January the water looked inviting. I can only imagine how beautiful this place would be in the summer.

The Chattahoochee River

We got back in the car and drove to the Island Ford area of the park where the visitor center is located. Next time we are going to start here and explore all the trails from this more central part of the recreation area. Not only does this area have some great trails but there are also a number of historic sites along the river. Sadly though, the trails from here were closed that day as rangers were working on some maintenance projects before the busy season comes.

Chattahoochee River Visitor Center

We got back in the car and started driving home. I kept singing the song though and already making plans to come back here this summer. Finally Brad asked said to sing a different song, any other song, than down at the Chattahoochee. I just shrugged and said that it wasn’t my fault the song was so catchy but I did start fiddling with the radio looking for another song to drive to.

If you have enjoyed this post, then you may want to check out some of the other national recreation areas that we have seen.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho

Gauley River National Recreation Area, West Virginia

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Kentucky

Thanks for coming along today on our quick visit to the Chattahoochee River! We can’t wait to come back and see more of all it has to offer.

11 responses to “Winter Down at the Chattahoochee River {Georgia}”

  1. Sometimes the best trips are the ones that aren’t planned from the outset such as the detour you made. It looked to be very worthwhile and what a lovely photo of the three of you, Marion xx

  2. Spontaneous travel decisions really can be the most rewarding. This looks like a lovely area to explore and going back in summer sounds like an excellent idea. Lovely article, Meg. A side note: I’ve been singing Don’t let me down for days now. Keep waiting for Sladja to rebel against it, ha ha!

    • haha, oh the songs that get stuck in our head! Because Tessa has been watching the spinoff show of the Lion King, I went from Alan Jackson to a song from the Lion Guard being stuck in my head…and then to a mix between the two which was really weird. Maybe now ‘Don’t let me down’ will join the mix too 🙂

  3. I was going to say how good it often is when you change plans and visit somewhere just on a whim, but I see lots of people got to the comments before me and said pretty much the same! Doesn’t make it any less worth saying though! And this was obviously a good one!

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