CNWR - Gold Branch Unit

From Gold Branch T...

I went hiking on my birthday. My friends asked me what I wanted to do, and I said go hiking. I wanted a more challenging trail, and they wanted to be in a situation where we were still close enough to drink and celebrate afterward. We are pretty fortunate that right here just outside the Perimeter, amongst the Chattahoochee National Wildlife Reserve, is a good solid but challenging hike at Gold Branch.

Now this doesn't have any cool ruins like Sope or Vickery Creek, and the Water itself is not as pretty as East Palisades or West Palisades. As a matter of fact, its not even the Chattahoochee proper, but rather Bull Sluice Lake, a murky bay along the river. But the draw here is the trail, its narrow, has ups and downs, and just plain fun to hike. All these factors make the route much quieter and much more interesting than other nearby portions of the Chattahoochee.

Directions are available here.

The Trail Map is available here

Now a trail is clearly marked. But you really don't want the marked trail. It is designed for the more casual participant. You want the unmarked primitive trail that basically runs just alongside the river. That is where the actions at.

Along the way, we encountered a couple of giant swans (who came right up to us when we offered a granola bar), a half dozen ducks, some great close up views of the water, views on huge homes off the water. The hike is a little less than five miles and should take a little over two hours to complete.

Trail Essentials
Approximate Time: 2.5 hours
Approximate Distance: 5 miles
Trail Surface: Compact Soil, Rocks
Features: River Views, Riverside Walk, Challenging Trail

Overall Rating: A-

Scenic Quality: B
Athleticism: A
Solitude: B+
Value: A-

Parking: $3 (MAR 2007)
Hours of Operation: Open Year Round, Sunlight Hours
Facilities: None
Maps: Posted at Trailhead and through the Pathway, Primitive Trail unmarked but hugs the lakeshore, On-line
County: Cobb
Directions: click here

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 10, 2008

    Your website is wonderful. As a physician with 3 kids (3, 3, & 6), I had developed a good deal of analysis paralysis when it came to deciding what to do with the kids...and nine out of 10 times we ended up going to the aquarium or the zoo or staying home with a Disney DVD. We are around the corner from Gold Branch, so it worked out as a perfect excursion to pick from your blog. My boys loved it. My intent is to to visit as many locales from your site as possible. Thanks, again. Cheers



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