Atlanta, GA

What's The National Park Service Have Planned on the Chattahoochee? It's the Final Days for Public Input.


The deadline for public input on a sweeping improvement plan for the National Park Service's
Atlanta-area Chattahoochee National Recreation Area is fast approaching, with April 30 the final day to submit written comments.
The Chattahoochee National Recreation area stretches from Buford Dam to Vinings. More than 3.3 million people use the park annually.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Among the major initiatives are adding new hiking trails to the parks, and trail restorations, reconstructions and relocations along the 65 miles of established trails. Other major plans call for improving visitor safety, installation of better trail marking and directional signage, adjusting parking areas and patterns to better match visitor use, and protecting natural and cultural resources through sustainable trails management practices. Details are provided in a published 278-page Comprehensive Trails Management Plan / Environmental Assessment document issued by the NPS.

According to the park proposal, a one-time cost of $9,654,216 would be incurred for the preferred upgrades. Small increases in annual operating and maintenance costs and additional maintenance personnel also are included in the proposal. Written public input and comments are invited through April 30, 2022. The full proposal can be downloaded for review.

A series of articles in Newsbreak highlight proposed changes at some of the most-visited Chattahoochee NRA areas, including:

Palisades Parks and Cochran Shoals, in Cobb and Fulton counties near the I-75 / I-285 interchange,

Bowman's Island, near the Buford dam in Forsyth and Gwinnett counties,

Settles Bridge and Orr's Ferry, near Cumming, GA.
Created in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter, the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area includes 15 parks and 19 locations.National Park Service Map

In 2021, an estimated 3.3 million people visited the Chattahoochee River parks, roughly the same number of visitors as the iconic Yosemite National Park. Chattahoochee is the 23rd most-visited park among the 423 locations in the National Park System, according to NPS statistics.

The Chattahoochee NRA stretches along with winding river from Buford Dam in the north to the I-75 / I-285 interchange in the south. Created on August 15, 1978, in legislation signed by President Jimmy Carter, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area includes the following 14 parks and 19 locations listed in the NPS improvement proposal:

  • Bowmans Island – West
  • Bowmans Island – East and Orrs Ferry
  • Settles Bridge
  • McGinnis Ferry
  • Suwanee Creek
  • Abbotts Bridge
  • Medlock Bridge
  • Jones Bridge – North
  • Jones Bridge – South (Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center)
  • Holcomb Bridge
  • Island Ford
  • Vickery Creek
  • Gold Branch
  • Johnson Ferry – North
  • Johnson Ferry – South
  • Cochran Shoals – Sope and Gunby Creeks, Interstate North
  • Cochran Shoals – Powers Island
  • Palisades – East
  • Palisades – West
With nature preserves set amid an urban environment, Chattahoochee NRA provides unique perspectives on the river ecosystem.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

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Welcome to I'm DeanLand, a trained journalist and retired global marketing executive. Living in Northwest Georgia, I write about about avocations including outdoors, travel, exploration, history, food and community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries. My French Cajun upbringing in Louisiana plus my extended restaurant-related career affirm my status as an over-qualified eater. At my blog,, I offer a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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