East Palisades Trail in Atlanta, GA

The East Palisades Trail is a popular hiking trail near Atlanta, Georgia. The difficulty level is moderate, mainly because the trail is unpaved, sparsely marked, and occasionally muddy.

Because the East Palisades Trail is so close to town, expect heavier foot traffic. You will see plenty of other hikers if you go on the weekends. Early mornings on weekdays are less crowded if you’re looking for more solitude as you explore.

No special gear is required for this trail, although hiking boots are strongly recommended to avoid slipping on mud, rocks, and trees. Bring a raincoat or poncho in case of rain.




1.3 miles


154 feet


32 minutes

Route Type

Out and back

Pets allowed

Yes, on leash

East Palisades Trail Location

You will find the East Palisades Trail in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area outside the town of Smyrna near Atlanta, Georgia. A beautiful park that straddles the Chattahoochee River, the Recreation Area offers lovely views of the Chattahoochee River and other natural scenery.

You can access the East Palisades Trail from two parking lots: the Whitewater Creek Road parking lot at the south end and the Indian Trail parking lot at the north end. The Indian Trail road is very narrow, so use caution when entering and leaving if you decide to start at the trail’s northern end.

East Palisades Trail Length

The East Palisades Trail is 1.3 miles out and back, which takes about 30 minutes if you stay on the trail. But the trail is unpaved and connects with several other trails at multiple points. Getting a little lost on the adjoining trails will add distance, time, and adventure to your hike.

To avoid getting lost, study the East Palisades Trail map at the trailhead, pay close attention to the waypoint signs that mark the intersections with other trails, and avoid wandering off the trail itself.

On the other hand, if you want a little more time on the trail, you can tack on the Bamboo Forest Trail spur for a total of 2.3 miles out and back. Adding the North Loop Trail makes a 5.6-mile loop that will take you through most of the park without retracing your steps too much.

East Palisades Trail Hours

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a National Park Service trail, open from sunrise until sunset, 365 days a year. The best time to hike the East Palisades Trail is between April and October. The trail can get muddy and slippery in the winter.

The entry fee is $5 per vehicle and grants access for one day. Heed all “no parking” signs, even if you see other cars parked in “no parking” zones. Parking rules inside the park are strictly enforced with a fine of over $100.

East Palisades Trail Reviews

Reviews note that it is very easy to wander onto the wrong trail in this area. Study your East Palisades Trail Map carefully and follow the numbered waypoints to avoid getting lost.

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Featured image via Atlanta Trails