I went here with a couple friends and ran about 7 miles of the trail. It's got a few hills, some pretty steep but overall it's pretty flat and follows the river the entire time. I greatly enjoyed the observation tower. The trail is also very maintained and clean - which is a huge plus for me, especially considering it's a popular destination. You will see a lot of deer - we probably saw about 30.
This is our favorite park! We just finished a grueling 10-mile triathlon of backpacking, hiking, camping, and canoeing! My girlfriend tells me I'm full of doodo but I'm just telling you the truth. I would not lie to my Chattahoochee Bend friends. Really though, this is our favorite park! At the Ranger station ask for Jade the Naturalist, she's Awesome!
Armadillo:People = 12:2.
This is a quiet trail with very interesting landscape changes. It takes about 3-3.5 hours (out and back = 10 miles). At the end of the trail is platform tent camping, so it would be feasible to backpack in for the evening, then back out the next day.
Great Trail, very easy to follow and well maintained. No real issues at any point and I would say this is a bit more easy than moderate.
Be careful following your GPS driving to the trailhead, it may want to take you down a dead end. If you follow your GPS until you see some signs (Chat Bend State Park - with an ---> pointing the way) just follow those and go all the way to the end of the park by the boat ramp.
Great state park. Very well-maintained park with lots of markers on the trails. Great hike for beginners. I only got winded once and it was at the end of the six-hour round trip. Good scenery, although I wish it would have allowed access to the Chattahoochee without clambering down the mountainside. If offers great views of the river, but it's about a five foot drop to get down to it off-trail. We opted to eat our lunch on a log instead of climbing down next to the river. Rangers seemed very nice, and one offered us a ride back to our car when we opted to follow the road back instead of doubling back on the trail.
The Riverside Trail's main access point is the south trailhead at the day use area, which is at the west end of Bobwhite Way. The first two miles of the trail are mostly flat with little dips and a few creek and stream crossings. A 30' observation tower is at 8/10 mile. The intersection with the Tower Trail is at 9/10 mile.
Views of the Hooch are spectacular, especially near sundown when the light reaches under the lush hardwood canopy.
A little over two miles into the hike the trail turns away from the river and climbs 90' to a hilltop. From there it meanders upriver along ridgelines. Not far beyond 'Rattlesnake Rocks' there is a trail and riverside picnic area built by Eagle Scout candidates. A nice ridgeside hike takes you beside a wetland valley as the trail descends to a stream. Further on, the hardwoods and pines give way to a wide-open vista of what was once farmland.
After a moderately challenging slopeside hike, the trail is mostly downhill. As it approaches the north end near the bend in the river, it cruises through several distinct ecosystems in short order, providing a quick-paced change of scenery. After a 1/4-mile run through pine rows alongside a firebreak, the trail ends at a gravel road. The river bend awaits you if you go left (north) up the road. But you must hike back on the trail. (Or float down, like I did... ;-)
The trail had been maintained by volunteers from end-to-end that very day, so the trail condition was great. Autumn foliage was just... wow! Saw deer, armadillos, squirrels, hawks, perhaps an eagle.