Johnson Ferry North & South Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, GA
DURATION 1-2 hours
Johnson Ferry North & South

The Johnson Ferry trails offer locals a quick escape from civilization. However, if you are looking for any kind of challenge, this is not the hike for you. Both the North and South trails are short and flat, lacking the interest and diversity of the other Chattahoochee parks. On the other hand, if you are looking for a short easy hike to bring your dog on, this may be perfect.

The North trail parking area is located along Johnson Ferry Road SE next to the river at the end of Columns Drive. Drive past the pay kiosk to the gravel parking area. After walking a short distance past the trailhead, the path splits. What can cause confusion is that there is a cleared corridor following a buried pipeline that runs directly through the middle of the park. Following the trail along the river, the path will continually make its way back to this clearing; then again branch off to the right to go back to the river. Just continue to follow the rightmost paths.

After taking the trail along the river for the third time, the path will split, one way along the river, the other back to the pipeline clearing. Take the left path, back to the clearing. The path the goes straight ahead along the river quickly ends at a stream inlet to the river. Look for the blue blaze to know you are on the right path. Once back at the corridor, you will pass a sign notifying you the rest of the park is closed, however tempting it is to cross the pipe over the river and continue along the trail further north. This trail, however, does not circle back to the main loop.

Soon after this, the trail splits again, this time, however, there is a posted sign indicating the right direction. The map on this is outdated and incorrect, but it should help point you along to the left, to start the return trip back to the parking area. This will eventually lead you to a short boardwalk, ending at the original split near the beginning of the park.

The South trail parking area is located .7 miles south, down Columns Drive. From the parking area, the trail travels north along the river. During the winter the river is visible, but still a distance from the trail. In the warmer months, the river will be much more obstructed by the ground vegetation. The trail continues for .6 miles, curving away from the river in the last stretch to end along the road, just a short distance from the intersection of Columns Drive and Johnson Ferry, directly across the street from the North trailhead and parking.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
length3.1 miles
difficulty1.9 Easy
duration1 - 2 hours
trail typeLoop
elevation gain70 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestChattahoochee River National Recreation Area
visitor infoIsland Ford Visitor Center
1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
hoursSunrise - Sunset (parks)
9am - 5pm (Visitor Center)
parking fee$5/Day, $40 Annual Pass
trailhead coordinates 33.946493, -84.403936 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 33°56.79, W 84°24.24 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 33°56'47'', N 33°56'47'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
33.946493, -84.403936 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 33°56.79, W 84°24.24 most GPS units use this one
N 33°56'47'', N 33°56'47'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
These coordinates are for Johnson Ferry North trailhead. The Johnson Ferry South parking lot and trailhead are .7 miles down Columns Drive.
All official CRNRA maps can be found at
The elevation profile is for Johnson Ferry North trail. The South trail is much the same, entirely flat but much shorter.
Johnson Ferry North trail seems to continue by crossing a pipe at the far end of the park. Around this area are a couple other trails that seem to continue on instead of turning back to the parking lot. These are not official trails.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
3 (1)
hikethesouth-6 years ago
Good For Locals
This is one of the less interesting Chattahoochee trail systems, but it's still a nice walk in the woods and good for dog owners. Very little elevation change here.
Easy | Hiked Winter 2012
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