Cochran Shoals Trail


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Cochran Shoals Trail Facts

States: Georgia
Counties: Cobb
Length: 1.6 miles
Trail end points: Columns Dr. and Interstate North Pkwy.
Trail surfaces: Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6716836
Trail activities: Bike, Fishing, Walking

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Cochran Shoals Trail Description

Cochran Shoals Trail, on the northwestern outskirts of Atlanta, follows the western bank of the Chattahoochee River for nearly two miles. The unpaved pathway travels through Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and is tree-lined and scenic. Due to its beauty, expect crowds on the weekends. The southern end of the trail marks the beginning of the paved Akers Mill Trail, which enables you to extend your journey west and connect to various other trails in Cumberland and Smyrna.

To Native Americans, "Chattahoochee" is thought to mean "River of Painted Rocks." Fishing is permitted in its waters, where anglers will find trout. Contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for more information about fishing in the river. Rafting, canoeing, and kayaking are also permitted in the park.

Parking and Trail Access

A large parking lot is available at the north end of the trail off Columns Drive.

Parking is also available at the trail's southern end. From I-285, take exit 22; get onto New Northside Drive, then Interstate North Parkway. The lot will appear less than a mile after crossing the Chattahoochee River.

Cochran Shoals Trail Reviews

I love this river trail. I've been running/biking this trail for probably close to 20 years. It's the perfect 3.1 mi loop for those starting out for 5K. It's mostly flat and very scenic along the river side. Parking can get a little crazy (both ends of the trails) during peak hours (weekends, evenings) but usually it's fairly quiet. For those seeking a little more distance or more difficult terrain, it connects to the sope creek trails which take you up north towards Paper Mill Road/Sope Creek area. There's a parking area there as well.

I would only add to the above review that it is quite easy to continue onto Columns Dr. from the northern part of this trail. There is a fairly wide bike path on either side of the street, which is divided by a median for much of its length. This is residential street, so does not suffer from high speeds and bike riders are quite common. Columns Dr. dead ends into one of the parking areas for the Cochran Shoals NRA.

On December 30, 2011, my wife, son-in-law and three granddaughters (ages 10,8 and 6) rode on this trail and found it to be very suitable for family riding. Although the trail is not very long, it does have an offshoot that circles away from the river and adds a little extra variety and one small hill. The surface seems to be a combination of crushed rock and gravel and is surprisingly smooth, although it's probably not that great for road bikes or skates. The main trail is quite wide and seems to have a lot of folks walking and running, so it's not the trail for speed demons. The trail for the most part does closely parallel the Chattahoochee River and the scenery is quite pleasing. We did three laps and rode slightly over ten enjoyable, relaxing miles.

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