West Palisades
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia
Difficulty
hike difficulty
7.6
Length
hike difficulty
5.3
Duration 2 hours
Elevation Gain 762 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Parking Fee $3, $25 annual pass
Blaze Blue
Nearby City Vinings, GA
Trailhead Coord. 33.871349, -84.45361

One of the more challenging of the Chattahoochee River parks, the West Palisades trail system provides relaxing river-side trails along with several moderately steep inclines. The park is complete with great river views, boat ramp, large picnic area, and access to a 4 mile paved multi-use trail, making it perfect for a variety of activities.



Starting from the larger parking lot at Paces Mill, begin on the Rottenwood Creek Multi-Use trail for the first half mile. While on this paved path, you will cross under I-75, then over Rottenwood Creek before arriving at the start of the West Palisades unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Taking the first of the two entrances with the sign, the trail continues to follow along the river for the next .6 miles. Along here will be the first junction, which at the time of writing this, does not have a trail map for guidance.



If you take a right along the river, the trail eventually dead ends unless you ascend a steep, difficult unofficial side trail up the hill. This is one of many unofficial trails in the park. As a rule of thumb, if the trail becomes overly difficult, hard to follow, or overgrown then you’ve taken a wrong turn. Taking a left at the junction will take you up a steep incline. The trails either stay around 800 feet in elevation along the river or around 1000 feet in elevation on the hilltop, so navigating this park requires several 200 foot climbs and descents.



Continue uphill at the next junction; turning left here will lead you back to the paved path. Once the trail levels off, it will slowly descend before coming to another junction. If you stay straight, the trail will lead to a townhome neighborhood. Head downhill to another series of junctions.



The rest of the park has trail maps, so navigating shouldn’t be too difficult. Heading downhill, a side trail on the left will lead to the townhomes as well. At the next junction, heading left will take you to the smaller parking lot on Akers Ridge Drive. Continuing down the moderately steep path, the trail forms a couple small loops along the river. Restrooms are available here as well. A couple short boardwalks and a small sandy bank overlook the river near the Devils Racecourse Shoals. When heading back, if you wish for a longer outing, continue down the Rottenwood Creek/Bob Callan Paved Trail that you came in on.

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  • West Palisades Trail System
TERRAIN MAP
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ELEVATION PROFILE
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GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
33.871349, -84.45361 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 33°52.28, W 84°27.22 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 33°52'17'', W 84°27'13'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

Google Map It

Most auto GPS units use the Degree Minutes format as the default.



Further Directions
The entrance to the Paces Mill parking area is on the west side of Cobb Parkway, then goes under the highway to the large parking lot.

The coordinates for the Akers Ridge Dr parking lot are 33.890819,-84.448385.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
1978 Island Ford Pkwy, Sandy Springs, GA 30350
678-538-1200