Located in Newnan, Georgia, Chattahoochee Bend State Park is a great place to go for day hiking, fishing, or even a quick weekend camping trip.
There are many options for activities and things to do that the whole family will enjoy in this fantastic park.
As we know this park well, this insider’s guide will show you some of the best activities and events going on in Chattahoochee Bend State Park. Read on to begin your adventure!
Where and What
Chattahoochee Bend State Park is roughly 1 hour outside of Atlanta in Newnan, GA. At 2,910 acres, it’s one of Georgia’s largest state parks, and follows the mighty Chattahoochee River.
The park is full of great hiking trails with some superb views of the pretty woodland and riverside landscape here. We give our favorite trails a little further down this article.
As for swimming, it’s not recommended at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. That’s because the water here can be quite muddy and isn’t ideal for swimming. Rather, with five miles of river frontage this is the perfect place for those looking to spend some time kayaking or fishing – you can find more information on both here as well.
Top Things to Do in Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Let’s take a closer look at some of the top things to do when visiting this park.
One of the most popular activities here is hiking. And in our opinion, this is the best way to spend a day exploring and seeing Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
There are ample options for those looking for a day hike, or even longer options if you’re looking for an overnight backpacking experience.
The most popular trail in the park is the Riverside Trail, which takes you along the Chattahoochee River. Total mileage for this trail is approximately 10 miles out and back, but you can hike shorter distances and still experience the beauty of the area as you traverse the riverside and woodland. Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be kept on a leash. See the trail map here.
Campgrounds line the edges of the Riverside Trail for those interested in backpacking out to their campsite and then having the experience of a night under the stars.
Other options for day hikes include Turkey Hill, a 4.4-mile easy trail that’s a good beginner level hike for families. This dog friendly trail isn’t usually busy and takes you through pretty woodland and wildflowers where you can look out for birds. See the trail map here.
If you’re looking for something shorter but more strenuous, Brown Thrasher Loop is a 1.6-mile secluded ridge line trail rated as a moderate hike. It’s not a busy trail so you can sometimes come across deer, armadillo and other animals while walking it. See the trail map here. (Recommended: The Four Scorpions in Georgia You Should Watch Out For).
Because of the ample amount of river frontage in Chattahoochee Bend State Park, water activities are a popular choice for many visiting here. Kayaking is one of the best ways to spend some time outdoors at the park.
You can choose to do a quick day excursion either by yourself, or in a guided group. The volunteer group, Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park, often run regular guided kayak tours throughout the year which is a great option for first time visitors to the park. Those tours usually consist of a hike along the Riverside Trail, followed by a 3.5-mile cruise down the river to relax. You can choose to rent a kayak or bring your own.
Many also choose to kayak out to their campsite for an overnight trip with added adventure. Campsites line the edge of the Chattahoochee River and are easy to get to and from.
Camping is another activity that many come to Chattahoochee Bend State Park for – it’s one of our favorite activities too. Luckily, there’s a main campground in the park that is just a short walk from the river.
For those with RVs, the park offers 37 campsites with RV hookups. Most of these have 30 and 50 amp electric and water hookups. The park can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, and the road to get to these campsites is smooth and well paved.
These campsites must be booked in advance. During peak seasons (summer months) they can fill up well in advance, so it’s best to plan ahead and reserve yours as soon as possible. You can make a reservation here.
There’s also many backcountry campsites, and campsites direct on the river. This park map shows exactly where those campsites are located.
As we briefly mentioned in earlier sections, there’s also the option to backpack to your campsite if you prefer, either by hiking or kayaking. This will give you a more secluded and remote camping experience and add to the adventure of your trip.
These campsites are located along the river on riverfront platform sites, walk-in sites, backcountry campsites and traditional developed campsites. This park map shows where those campsites and camping platforms are located.
A lesser-known attraction of the park are the the adventure cabins, which offer a great experience for those interested in having a few more amenities than a tent or RV can provide.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park has three adventure cabins that are well furnished and can sleep up to eight people. The cabins have a full kitchen, dining area, and bathrooms for guests. There are also screened in porches to keep bugs away while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
Reservations for these cabins must be made in advance through the park’s website.
Another popular activity in Chattahoochee Bend State Park is fishing. With ample amounts of river frontage, those looking to fish have many options to pick from. You can choose to fish close to the campgrounds for convenience. However, if you prefer a more secluded fishing experience then we recommend you hike up the Riverside Trail for some solitude.
Trout, bass, and catfish are all popular catches at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. However, before you go, you’ll need to ensure you have a fishing license from the state of Georgia. To get one, you can start the process here.
Enjoy the View from the Observation Tower
A two-story observation tower is positioned along the mighty Chattahoochee River and can be easily accessed by foot. The hike to the tower is easy and kid-friendly, so you can bring the whole family. The fantastic view from the top of the tower is well worth the effort.
This tower is available year-round for your enjoyment, but the view is particularly great during the autumn months when the leaves are changing color. If visiting in September through November be sure to hike to the tower so you can enjoy the golden hues of Fall from this fantastic vantage point.
There are several geocaching stations scattered throughout the park. For those that enjoy the thrill of the hunt, finding geocaching stations in the park can be a great way to spend the day. This is a great family-friendly activity for all ages.
While biking is not one of the main activities in Chattahoochee Bend State Park, there are still beautiful sites to be seen from two wheels.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park has 3.2 miles of mountain bike trails. These trails are easy to access and bike for all ages, making it a great activity for the whole family.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park: Why you should visit
If you’re near Atlanta and looking to immerse yourself in nature, Chattahoochee Bend State Park has loads to offer.
Whether you’re interested in a quick day hike or an overnight kayaking excursion, the park has something for everyone who enjoys being outdoors.