East Palisades feels like one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets. Over 300 acres of scenic wooded seclusion might not feel like a lot, until you actually spend the time to walk the trails. This trail makes up part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, established in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter, which protects a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between Atlanta and Lake Lanier.
There are two parking areas from which you can start the loop. This overview describes starting from the East Palisades Trailhead. A short drive on a gravel road just beyond some of the nicest homes in north-western Atlanta and a $3 fee will be all that you need to get started. Begin walking down the hill toward the Whitewater Creek Trails parking area and take a right to start along the river. Signs will keep you informed of where you are and let you know when it’s time to turn uphill.
Once you reach the top, don’t miss the wooden overlook area for the best view of the loop, with optional extensions to the north across a short creek to the ruins of a mill along the river. Climb back up by following the map signposts and walk the gravel road back to your car to finish up the hike.