Gold Branch

Location: Georgia
Trip Starts: Gold Branch Parking Area
Trip Ends: Gold Branch Parking Area
Total Distance: 1.6 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trails Used: Gold Branch Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Day or Overnight
More Information:

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350


This hike to the Chattahoochee River is from the Gold Branch parking area off Lower Roswell Road near Marietta, GA. The route starts in the northwestern corner of the park and descends down to a small stream in a hardwood forest. From here, you can hike either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction to reach the river. Either way you will eventually walk along Bull Sluice Lake – which is a body of water on the northern end of the park. It is almost entirely cut off from the main flow of river with only a narrow passage connecting Bull Sluice Lake with the Chattahoochee. Hiking clockwise takes you to the lake in under 30 minutes.

The entire Gold Branch loop is around five miles, but if you are short on time or energy there are a number of smaller loops in the park (see map). This gives you a number of options ranging from 1-5+ miles in the Gold Branch area. The trail is close to the cities of Marietta and Roswell – so don’t expect much privacy here – but for being so close to the city, this is a really nice and scenic hike.


  1. BirdShooter says:

    There’s been a few changes at the trailhead since I last hiked here. There is still a fee to hike here ($5), but you now must scan a code at the trailhead with your smartphone and pay electronically – after you set up an account. Also, the national park service had numerous signs restricting parking to the designated lot – which isn’t very big. If you come here on a weekend, you may have to wait for someone to leave before you find parking.

Speak Your Mind