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The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers Family Canoe Day every Saturday.

Featured Article

Life on the River

The National Park in our Backyard

A little-known fact about our city is that the country's 22nd most visited national park runs through our backyard. Forty-eight glorious miles of the Chattahoochee River and 7,000 surrounding acres of land make up the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Ten miles of the river and two parks—Jones Bridge Park and Abbotts Bridge Recreation Area—border Johns Creek. 

Shady tree canopies, lush greenery, wildflower beds and the rushing oasis that is the Chattahoochee make up the park's bustling ecosystem. With abundant surroundings and countless pastimes, the river accommodates everyone. Spend a morning of solitude and meditation along the banks, get creative with a date night under the stars, or embark on an afternoon family trek through the great outdoors. We couldn't think of a better spot to get lost this summer. 

Moving the summer fun from the pool to the river has plenty of benefits. It's a great way to beat the Georgia heat, with average temperatures beside the river 20 degrees cooler than usual. Plus, stepping out of the ever-present digital landscape and into the natural one can do wonders for one's mind, body and soul.

"The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a resource for the entire community to utilize for their mental and physical well-being," says Graham Dorian, president and chair of the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy.

So get out, start exploring and curb the summertime boredom that's already sneaking into households. Between our city's two national recreation areas and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the options for exploration are endless. Just decide if you want to adventure on the water or land and go from there.

On the Water:

Float: Rafts, canoes, kayaks, motorboats and swimmers are welcome on the Chattahoochee River. There are a few different ways to "Shoot the Hooch." Use your equipment or purchase a rental and put in at a nearby boat ramp or park for a solo adventure. Check the river flow rate anytime you float without an expert to ensure safe water conditions.

Or, spend less time planning and more time on the water with group expeditions at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Choose from family canoe days, river trips, date nights on the river and more to customize your float to your needs.

Fish: While any section of the river brims with fish, there are a few key spots to cast off. Fly fishing is most prevalent at Jones Bridge Park due to its sandy shoals, while the Bowman's Island unit beside Buford Dam has some of the best trout fishing in its deep, cold water. All fishing along the Chattahoochee is catch and release.

On the Land:

Hike: The cooler temperatures beside the river make a stroll along the Chattahoochee one of the most comfortable summertime hikes in metro Atlanta. Plus, the forest comes alive with the colors of flora and fauna all summer long. Bluebirds, yellow daisies and even majestic bald eagles are common wildlife sightings.

Seek: Uncover the river's hidden gems with various educational programming, expeditions and wildlife encounters at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Little ones can come face-to-face with butterflies, meet a beekeeper or hear a story on the river. At the same time, adults can enjoy an outdoor performance with a drink in hand, peruse the summer gallery or spend a romantic evening on the river.

No matter your pleasure, summertime in Johns Creek should be spent on the river.

Equipment Rentals and Excursions Nearby

Shoot the Hooch: Tube, kayak and raft rentals.

3444 Cobb PKWY SE, Atlanta 

High Country Outfitters - Paddle Shack: Paddleboard and kayak rentals.

200 Morgan Falls Rd Sandy Springs 

Nantahala Outdoor Center - Roswell Outpost: Tube, paddleboard, kayak, canoe and raft rentals and tours.

203 Azalea Dr, Roswell 

Support the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy

The Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy is the official friend's group and primary philanthropic partner of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. All funding supports our national park by improving and maintaining trails and facilities and providing stewardship through educational, volunteer and outreach programs. 

Contribute to the cause by volunteering, keeping the park clean or donating at

  • The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers Family Canoe Day every Saturday.