Island Ford Trail – #4 in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Atlanta

Chattahoochee River at Island Ford

Chattahoochee River at Island Ford

ISLAND FORD TRAIL AT CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
Trailhead Coordinates: 33:987084 N , -84.325551 W
Distance hiked: 5.13 miles
Time to hike: 2:22:38
Click to download GPX file

This hike makes twelve that I’ve completed from the book 60 Hikes Within 60 miles of Atlanta, I’m making pretty good progress hiking through all the trails in the book.

Island Ford Trail is located within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a 48 mile area along the river that preserves historic and recreational spots.  It is part of the National Parks Service.  Island Ford was one of the two main fords used to cross the Chattahoochee River by settlers who preferred not to pay the expensive ferry fees to cross at other locations.  Due to water release from Buford Dam it is difficult today to tell the exact spot used for crossing the river.  The area was also the location of the summer family home of GA Superior Court Judge Samuel Hewlett, which is now used as the visitor’s center.

Brian is Crazy

This is why it’s dangerous to hand someone your camera and ask them to, “Just take some random pics.”

We started to feel the cooler temps the morning of the hike, when I arrived at the trail the temp was 38F.  No problem, I pulled my beanie on tight and put on my gloves.  Boo was ready to go and didn’t want to wait for me to get my gloves and hat on but we managed to get her leashed up and on our way before too long.  A few friends joined me for this one and we hiked a slightly different path than what is listed in the guidebook, it ended up at a little over 5 miles.  The trail is mostly easy terrain with a couple of decent, winding hill climbs.  There are a couple areas where the trail is a bit rugged and you need to watch your footing, trekking poles would be beneficial here.  The leaves were mostly fallen as well and covered rocks and roots, as I’m not a sure-footed as a mountain goat I slipped and tripped a bit, wear some boots with ankle support for this one.  In addition to some great views of the Chattahoochee River loaded with Canadian Geese the area is heavily forested with some awesome rock formations.  There’s a nice, little fishing pond located along the trail and right on the access road and this area of the river is also stocked with trout, next time I’ll have to bring a fishing pole.

We wrapped this up in just under 2 1/2 hours and the temps had climbed into the lower 50’s, with the constant movement I was plenty warm and even started to break a sweat.  To celebrate such a glorious hike on a beautiful day we headed up Roswell Road a bit to North River Tavern for some wings and beer, if you’re in the area it’s a great place for both.

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