January 2022

Happy Hiking in 2022!

Dear CNPC Community, 

When do you normally visit the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA)? Most people will answer in spring, summer or fall. But I want to invite you to also visit during the winter. From Bowmans Island to Paces Mill there are 15 park units to explore. There is even a HikeCRNRA challenge for those interested (details below).

The park looks different in the winter. Less foliage means new vistas and opportunities to see wildlife including birds migrating to warmer weather. Feeling cold and seeing your breath makes it a different experience. And, just maybe, if we are lucky, there could be a snow day hike. 

Any time of year is a good time to visit the CRNRA. And thanks to your financial support and volunteerism, we are able to help maintain this treasured resource.

Best Wishes for the New Year,

Graham Dorian, Board Chair and President 

Photo by Tom Wilson

Take the HikeCRNRA Challenge

The start of a new calendar year is nearly always accompanied by a plethora of resolutions to try something new – a new diet, exercise routine, or habit. At CNPC, we’re encouraging folks to try something new as well: visit all of the park units! While it’s easy and convenient to frequent the same park unit and walking trails, doing so causes you to miss out on all that the CRNRA has to offer.  

Housed within the park's 15 units are 66 miles of designated and well-maintained hiking trails. HikeCRNRA, which is CNPC’s hiking challenge, offers a fun and efficient way to experience all of the trails.

Launched in 2020, HikeCRNRA encourages people to hike all trails (including marked loops, spurs, and alternate routes) within the park system. Individuals who complete all CRNRA trails receive an annual membership to CNPC, a HikeCRNRA patch and are recognized at our annual CNPC members meeting. To date, 10 individuals have successfully completed the challenge and we are hopeful that 2022 will bring about additional completions.

For more information on the HikeCRNRA program, as well as trail maps and trail segment tracking forms click here.

Photo of HikeCRNRA finisher Omotunde Oguntoyinbo with her dog Molly 

Bowmans Island Unit

Bowmans Island, located near Lake Lanier in Cumming, GA, is the northernmost park unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. This unit contains 5.55 miles of trails, the fifth most of the CRNRA’s 15 park units. Visitors can gain access to the trails by parking at either the northern park entrance on Buford Dam Road or at the southern entrance on Trout Place Road; a flat, forested walk along the Chattahoochee River will bring visitors from one lot to the other. Because Bowmans Island trails have little elevation gain, they’re perfect for novice hikers including small children.

Bowman’s Island is also an excellent choice for fishing.  At lower water, most of the river is accessible to wading, and it also offers good opportunities to float fish. Access is best from the Lower Pool West boat ramp just above Haw Creek. Try to stay on the gravel, not the slippery rocks, and be aware of any potential water release from the dam.  For the Buford Dam water release schedule call 770-945-1466, or visit their Hydropower Generating Schedule website.

Visitors to Bowmans Island may also be interested in touring the Buford Trout Hatchery that is run by the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hatchery is temporarily closed to the public, however additional information is available online here

Photo of Bowmans Island taken by Cynthia Patterson during our January Community Hike

Crayfish Creek Restoration

Crayfish Creek, located in Sugar Hill, GA near the Highway 20 Bridge overpass, is one of many tributaries to the Chattahoochee River. A tributary is a freshwater stream that feeds into a larger stream or river and plays a vital role in the overall ecosystem. Tributaries provide habitats, deliver nutrients, and move organic materials, sediment, and chemicals. Crayfish Creek is an important tributary of the Chattahoochee because it helps to maintain the water quality necessary for the successful spawning of brown trout.

Unfortunately, the Crayfish Creek tributary has become impaired due to erosion and lack of riparian canopy (the forest land adjacent to a stream). A large restoration effort is now underway initiated by members of the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Oconee Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU), and TU's University of Georgia Five Rivers Club. The Crayfish Creek Project now includes an impressive list of additional key project partners including CNPC. As part of the Crayfish Creek Restoration Project, crews will restore native vegetation, remove non-native species and debris, and stabilize stream banks to reduce erosion.

Volunteers are needed to support these efforts at a series of upcoming workdays on January 29, February 19, and March 5.  Additional information about volunteer workdays and the overall effort can be found at Crayfishcreek.org.

Photo of Crayfish Creek Restoration Project by Alex Hinerfeld 

People of the Park: Britt Storck

The millions of annual visitors shows the popularity of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). Amongst those visitors are a small army of people working together to maintain this treasure. This month we are talking with Britt Storck, the CNPC Vice President. 

Photo of Britt Storck with her daughter Alexis at Vickery Creek 

What is your favorite CRNRA park?  

It’s not possible to choose just one activity or park! I enjoy trail running at Gold Branch & Sope Creek, biking at Columns Drive, and paddling from Island Ford to Azalea Park.

Got it, what about other National Parks? Are there one or two on your bucket list? 

Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota.  (This park shares its northern boundary with Canada and boasts a variety of activities all year. Click here to learn more)

How did you get involved with the CNPC?

The CRNRA is an integral part of my family’s active lifestyle and quality of life. Several days a week, I'm using the Park units to recharge, get exercise or seek respite. So a few years ago, I started seeking ways to give back to this tremendous resource and I signed up for Sweep the Hooch. At this event I met several CNPC board members who were volunteering at the same  unit. I asked how to get involved and soon became a member and supporter of the Park in a new way. 

Sounds like you definitely get a lot out of the CRNRA. Have you always enjoyed the outdoors?   

I grew up in Atlanta and spent most of my childhood playing in the woods. Our home backed up to undeveloped property with creeks and dense forest. It was my own little nature playground. My connection to nature really took off in college. I began camping more and also paddling in north Georgia, and eventually in California. I'll never forget kayaking along the Channel Islands!

Thank you for talking with us. One final question, do you have a favorite nature book or movie you would like to share? 

Fantastic Fungi. This film really shifted how I think about the networks that exist in nature. I'm already enamored by what I see above ground when I'm exploring outdoors, and can only imagine what's happening beneath my feet. There is a whole active system of communication underground that makes all the beauty above ground possible. I also like to forage, so this film really hit the spot!

Upcoming Events: 

Trail Day

Jan. 15

8:45 AM - 12 PM 


Community Hike

Feb. 5

10 AM - 12:30 PM 


Party for the Park

March 15

6 - 9 PM 


Community Thank You:  Atlanta North Metro Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Thank you to Atlanta North Metro Coca-Cola Bottling Company for supplying beverages for our volunteers and event participants. From Trail Days to Yoga in the Park the CNPC community has been enjoying Coke products thanks to Atlanta North Metro Coca-Cola Bottling Company's generosity!

Follow us on social and stay updated on all park activities!

Become a CNPC member or donate today!

YOU can help us achieve our vision of an inspired and thriving community of support for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

CNPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are proud to support our Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a unit of the national park system managed by the National Park Service.

Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy
P.O. Box 769332, Roswell, GA 30076
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