Cochran Shoals Trail in Marietta, GA

The Cochran Shoals Trail has something for every visitor. From dog-walking to mountain biking, you can do most anything along these trails. Continue reading to prepare for your trip to this Atlanta trail.

Cochran Shoals Trail Location

This trail is located within Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Parking and Trailhead

There are two options for parking. The Interstate North Lot is on the southwest end of the park. The Columns Drive lot is near Sandy Springs.

Both parking lots provide access to the Cochran Shoals loop trail and are near picnic benches.

Cochran Shoals Trail Map

Map link

Cochran Shoals Trail Length

The main loop is 3.1 miles long. You can add distance by hiking the dirt paths stemming from the loop.

Route Type




Elevation Gain

About 175 feet

Cochran Shoals Trail Hours of Operation

This trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Best Times to Visit

Summer in Atlanta, Georgia is often hot and humid. Both summer and autumn months fall within hurricane season in Atlanta, so keep a close eye on the weather if you are planning a hike at these times.

March, April, May, October, and November have the mildest temperatures. The average high temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

What To Bring on the Cochran Shoals Trail

Runners should bring a watch for training. The main loop trail is marked every quarter-mile, which makes speed training very convenient. Although the Chattahoochee River is very cold, runners often jump in to cool off. Bring a bathing suit or change of clothes if this is your plan.

If you are bringing small children, you can push a stroller around the main loop. However, strollers with larger wheels for going off the road are most convenient.

As always, bring plenty of water. You can bring a lunch to unpack at the picnic tables by the entrance.


Dogs are allowed on the Cochran Shoals Trail.


Bikes are permitted on the Cochran Shoals Trail. It is a popular trail for mountain biking.

The trails nearest Interstate North are mostly hiking-only, so park in the Columns Drive lot if you plan to ride a mountain bike.


You can pay a daily parking fee of $3 or buy an annual pass for $35.


Those who visit the Cochran Shoals Trail are often pleased by the variety of trails. Stemming from the main route are several dirt paths, perfect for hiking. However, many visitors note that these hiking trails are much simpler than most.

There is plenty of shade to keep you cool during the warm months. Most scenery consists of trees and shrubbery, but you will not see the Chattahoochee River from most sections.

Other visitors comment that the trail is very long, perfect for long-distance runs. Dog walkers are glad to find trash barrels across the trail for doggy bags.

Final Thoughts

Runners and mountain bikers cannot miss the Cochran Shoals Trail. The long loop is great for speed training and improving biking skills. However, intense hikers may choose to venture elsewhere.

Regardless of your plans, the Cochran Shoals Trail will offer many options for enjoying the scenery.

Check out the articles below to learn about other popular hiking spots:

Featured image via Atlanta Trails