Chattahoochee Bend has several features that make it appealing to a variety of outdoor lovers. If you enjoy canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing, the park has a boat ramp and lots of river to explore. There are several miles of trails for hiking. There are two RV campgrounds, platform camping, and several screened Adirondack shelters. There is a playground in the RV campground (just one of the two RV campgrounds was open as of July 2011) and another playground near the boat ramp. There are also two very nice pavilions, a large grill, and numerous picnic tables and grills on the river bank near the boat ramp.
The park is relatively isolated. The closest store is about six mile away, and it's a small gas station. There isn't a lot to do in the area. McIntosh Reserve, a really neat Carroll County park, is located almost directly across the river from Chattahoochee Bend, but it's about a 35 minute drive. Banning Mills is about a 30 minute drive.
Now, for the negatives. Much of the construction has just been completed or is underway (as of July 2011). The trees in the RV campground were pretty much cleared to build sites, so there is very little shade. The sites are not particularly level, and the tiny gravel they used in the patio areas is so fine, it's easily tracked into the camper. Other than the amenities I've already mentioned, there is very little to do here. Children could get bored pretty easily. And finally, the visitor center is really just a giftshop. You'll find just a handful of useful camping supplies, and none of the basic food necessities.
A lot of people have spent a massive amount of time time building this park. Their work shows, but the park has a long way to go before it ranks high for this family. Time will tell if the park evolves into something grand for the family. We wish the rangers, staff, and volunteers luck.
The predominant features of the skyline is the presence two smoke stacks servicing the nearby coal-burning power plant. It's amazing how many times they will be in front of you regardless of whether you are coming or going.
Entry Date: July 2011
We'd been anxiously following the progress of Chattahoochee Bend State Park online for months, and we were excited to visit soon after its opening. The prospect (and mystery) of a massive new state park opening in Georgia (when other's budgets were being slashed) made us anticipate the visit even more. Additionally, we realized there was a big empty spot on our map just a stone's throw to the Southwest of home base.
On the day of our deprture, I'd hosted an educational teacher-training workshop (my 19th in as many years), and was finished by noon. Rebecca and the kids joined me at the Tellus Science Museum where I loaded the Jeep on the trailer, and we were off.
We first stopped in Villa Rica, the site of the first discovery of gold in Georgia. We visited the Gold museum, and panned for gold in their water trough. The water was not flowing, and there were mosquito larvae swimming around. We did, of course, find our allotted ration of gold and semi-precious gemstones. The grounds of the museum were being landscaped, and was looking pretty nice. The farm animal display needed work. It's free to wander the grounds, but panning and the museum are extra.
From there we headed south to Chattahoochee Bend State Park. We turned right, then left, then left, then right, then left, then right, then left, and so on and so forth... As the crow flies, it wasn't far, but there was absolutely no way to get there directly, and many of the intersections in this area have traffic circles. Finally, we saw a sign that said Chattahoochee Bend State Park 10 miles. About 25 minutes, and 6-10 turns later (so it felt), we were pulling into the park.
Checking-in at the visitor center gave me the opportunity to check out their supplies. It was primarily a gift shop with t-shirts and what-not. There was a small section of RV supplies, but no groceries whatsoever. I asked about bottled water. Only in the coke machine outside. They do have ice. There's a country convenience store about six miles from the park's entrance, which translates to about a 30 minute round trip. It's best to plan a little better than the Richardson Tribe did this time.
When we pulled into the campground, the
sites seemed large and fairly level. Because we had a trailer and Jeep,
I selected a pull through site. I had to raise the rear of the camper a
couple inches, not bad. I noticed some of the other sites were not quite
so level. The campground layout is pretty nice, but like many new
campgrounds, most of the trees have been bulldozed and replaced with
occasional small hardwoods. Good shade should be available in 15-20
On the second day at the park we poked around the property a bit. The area at the boat ramp has a lot of potential. There are picnic tables and grills scattered along the bank. There are a couple of pavilions and another playground similar to the one at the campground. The river seems to be the main attraction, and there is a boat ramp, but they need a dock/pier for fishing.
And that's about it. We decided to spend
the rest of the day exploring the local area. We visited
Reserve, the former home and current resting place of the Creek chief
William McIntosh, assassinated for signing a treaty vanquishing millions
of acres of Creek land to US Government. This is a neat park that has
some camping potential. If you like horseback riding, this is a great
place to visit.
We slept-in on Sunday morning, and enjoyed a Summer shower that cooled the otherwise scalding air. Checkout time is 3pm (as of July 2011), and we stayed as long as we could before the drive home.
The Richardson Tribe