Chattahoochee River Parks – East Palisades Trail

From the archives – August 13, 2016

Bamboo forest? Lookout point high on a bluff above the river? Climbs that make your heart beat a little faster? You can find all of this on the East Palisades Trail.

By the time I had looked up this trail, I was hooked on the beauty of the Chattahoochee River trails. I had been out to the rainforest like Powers Island trail and the historical Civil War era ruins of Sope Creek trail. But to be honest, the reviews had me at bamboo forest. In the outskirts of Atlanta. How could I have spent over ten months in an area and not done these things before?

Finding the Indian Trail Rd entrance using Uber was challenging. For some reason the navigation wants to take you to the back of the trail and to the property of some of the most beautiful homes in the area. But my driver was patient and using some outside navigation skills, we found the entrance.

This trail was definitely more challenging than the other two, full of switchbacks and climbing that got my heart racing. And the killer view was worth it.

National Park Service – East Palisades Trail Map

When I started out on the trailhead, I thankfully ran into a woman who was running with her two dogs. She pointed out that the water was near marker EP16.

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After following a creek for a while I found my way to marker EP16 which followed along the Chattahoochee.  At that point you come across some ruins on the river’s edge.

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From there I took a right and followed the river so I could make my way up to marker EP26 and through the bamboo forest.  There are some amazing rock formations as you make your way along.

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But this…this is what I found breathtaking. The bamboo. Let me just stare up in the sky and watch the bamboo sway in the wind. All afternoon long.

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Let me limbo under the bamboo. Please, God, I hope no one was watching.

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Soak in the views of the north part of the trail where I saw a few people kayaking the small rapids.

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And then I headed back towards the interior so I could follow the south part of the trail which promised some views 400 feet or so above the river.

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All I can say is watch your step. And I hugged more than one or two trees navigating my way on the rockier and steep sections.

But this….made it worth it.

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Taken from this spot.

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The rest of the way was downhill. Following the river south so I could make my way to the Whitewater entrance. This part was pretty flat with a wide trail that followed the river, though it was dense at times.  I came across a few other humans and a few four legged friends – including one deer.

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At the end, I had gotten six miles of trail in and was feeling the effects of a good walk in the woods.

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