Island ford

While several Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areas have recently reopened, some facilities, including the Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center at Island Ford, remain closed.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Nature lovers now have more options for hiking, kayaking and volunteering.

On June 20, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area started Phase II of its reopening strategy. The biggest change is that visitors can now make use of all commercial services on the river, which include services offered by Nantahala Outdoor Center, Deep South Fly Anglers, Shoot the Hooch, River Through Atlanta, Kayak Classes of Georgia and Tie One On.

The national parkland borders the Chattahoochee River in areas of Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek and runs north into Forsyth County.

Previously, in May, some park trails and river access were reopened with waived entry fees. Park entrance fees have now resumed, and signage on how to electronically pay the $5 entrance fee are available at each parking area.

Additional changes from Phase II include new volunteer opportunities and the possibility to issue special use permits.

Some facilities remain closed for public health and safety, including comfort stations and the Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center in the Island Ford unit.

“We welcome visitors back to the park for increased recreation opportunities in Chattahoochee River NRA,” said Acting Superintendent Ann Honious. “We ask visitors to remember to recreate responsibly by recreating with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you’re near others.”

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is following guidelines from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities for increasing access. It will implement a phased approached for reopening any remaining closures on a park-by-park basis.

Details and updates on park operations can be found online at

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