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Gold Branch Trail

Atlanta Metro Area, Georgia

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Gold Branch Trail

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  • Just beyond the trailhead.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Boardwalk over a marshy area.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Colors already starting to show in late October.- Gold Branch Trail
  • The Gold Branch Trail is aptly named.- Gold Branch Trail
  • First views of the water from the Gold Branch Trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Lots of ducks and geese sharing the lake.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Red leaves bursting with color along the Gold Branch Trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Many red trees mixed in with the gold leaves along the Gold Branch Trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Great bird watching along the trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • The trail skirts right alongside the water.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Amazing colors in late October.- Gold Branch Trail
  • More reds along the middle of the trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Miles of quiet forest just minutes from the city.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Scenic bogs in the slow moving reservoir.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Flowers still holding on in October.- Gold Branch Trail
  • A look at where the marsh meets the river.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Looking out across the Chattahoochee. - Gold Branch Trail
  • The river lies just feet from the trail.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Sun beaming down through the trees.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Gold Branch at its finest.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Small island in the river.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Many ducks finding food in the coves.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Ducks resting on exposed logs.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Sunshine across the main river.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Back into the forest.- Gold Branch Trail
  • Just before rejoining the beginning of the loop.- Gold Branch Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful trees. Wildlife. Water views.
Cons: 
Limited Parking.
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Region:
Atlanta Metro Area, GA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
181.00 ft (55.17 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.80 mi (6.12 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
933.00 ft (284.38 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

On the western flank of the Chattahoochee River, just north of the Morgan Falls Dam, is a scenic forested trail that skirts the edge of Bull Sluice Lake and the Morgan Falls Reservoir. Here, just above the reservoir, the river slows to a crawl and provides marshy habitat for dozens of kinds of birds, amphibians, and reptiles that make for excellent wildlife viewing. The Gold Branch recreation area has almost 5 miles of total trail, which allows for many running and hiking options by using the connecting trails to make different loops.

What truly makes this walk special is visiting in fall, when the name Gold Branch becomes apparent. In the last week of October, the hardwoods of northern Atlanta start to burst with color. Until the middle of November when the leaves start to fall, the walk around Gold Branch will truly be golden as eastern cottonwood, American elm, post oak, white oak, and other hardwoods show bright golds to deep hues of red.

In the water you may see kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders coming from Morgan Falls Overlook Park, which is just across the reservoir. Parking will be limited on a day with nice weather, so make sure to show up early. If it’s full there are other close-by options for hiking such as Sope Creek and East Palisades.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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