RUNTRAILS' 2021 JOURNAL

 

  

Sweetwater Creek State Park, Georgia

 

   
 
 
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  CHATTAHOOCHEE BEND STATE PARK, GA:  
  SPRING HIKE ON THE RIVERSIDE TRAIL

MONDAY, JULY 19

 
"Chattahoochee Bend State Park allows you to maneuver through the shoals of the   
riveting river, explore wooded trails teeming with unique plants and wildlife,
and embark on a natural journey that refreshes and revitalizes the spirit."
 
~ from the park website homepage
 
 
This is another Georgia park within an hour's drive of our home that we visited for the first time this year. And it's right across the Chattahoochee River from McIntosh Reserve, a Carroll County park I featured in the previous entry!

You can't just drive across the river to get there, however. There is no bridge connecting the two parks and they are in different counties. The state park has a Newnan address and is in Coweta County. Both parks are southwest of Atlanta and in the greater metro area.

Here's a map that shows their proximity to each other:

At 2,910 acres, Chattahoochee Bend SP dwarfs McIntosh Reserve in size but doesn't have as many miles of trails as the smaller county park. It has considerably more river frontage, however -- about seven miles.

Popular activities include hiking, running, mountain biking, picnicking, camping, watching wildlife, fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddling, and geocaching. Accommodations include two campgrounds for RVs, tent sites (some with platforms), and three cottages. Check the park website for fees, reservations, and other details about activities and accommodations.

RIVERSIDE TRAIL

Jim and I have been to Chattachoochee Bend SP only once, on a weekday the second week of March. We stopped at the visitor center first for brochures and other information:

Then we drove the hilly, paved park road all the way to its end at the day-use area by the river. You can see it at the far left on the park map below. We began hiking mid-morning, going a little over two  miles out and two miles back on the Riverside Trail.

Here is a section of the park map that shows where we hiked out and back along the river:

We saw very few people that day until we were almost back to the day-use area. The park is much busier on weekends and in the warmer months, of course.

Jim walked Holly and Casey and I had Don. The trail was mostly flat and smooth for the two-mile section we walked. It's a very easy trail; I've read that it is more hilly farther out.

Total distance one way for this trail is 2.6 miles but you can increase the distance by doing other trails it intersects. The Tower, Wild Turkey, Brown Thrasher, and Flat Rock trails appear to be more hilly.

These photos are in chronological order going outbound from the trailhead (photo above), past the observation tower, and to the two-mile mark where we turned around.

 

 

 


The trail intersections we saw were well-marked.


This first long bridge is between the river and a large wet area. It probably gets flooded occasionally.

Above and below:  observation tower

 

Above and below: looking at another bridge from both directions

 

Above and below:  some early spring flowers

 

 

 


Jim and the girls ahead of Don and me a little before the two-mile mark


Jim re-starting his GPS after our break at our 2-mile turnaround


After a snack and some water, Casey (L) and Holly are ready to head back to the car.

I should wait to pass judgment on this park until I've walked more of the trails. I think the others are probably more hilly and would interest me more than the Riverside Trail. And it might be more scenic when the leaves are out. But neither of us was that impressed after this hike.

One problem we have with both Chattahoochee Bend and McIntosh Reserve is that the shortest ways require us to drive through congested traffic in both Peachtree City and Newnan. It's mostly rural highways all the way from our house to Sweetwater Creek.

So far, Chattahoochee Bend is our least favorite of the three state and county parks I've described in recent entries. Sweetwater Creek SP is definitely our favorite, followed by McIntosh Reserve. YMMV!

I'll have more photos from subsequent hikes in these parks at the end of the year.

Next entry: new (2021) photos from my favorite local park, Line Creek Nature Area.

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Casey-Girl, Holly-Holly, & Dapper Don

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2021 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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