East Palisades Revisited
You may recall my first visit to the East Palisades section of the Chatthoochee National Recreation Area was less than stellar. However, I feel like literally everyone I know has been going there lately and posting fabulous pictures of the amazing bamboo forest, so I wanted to give it another shot. I met up with a friend who lives in Atlanta and we went to East Palisades a couple of weeks ago. This time, I was extra careful to study maps to be sure we didn't get lost or miss the bamboo forest. I also used ViewRanger heavily since we didn't really have a set route in mind.
I have to say, this second trip was much better. Although we went on a Sunday and the parking lot was full, we didn't see crowds of people other than one hiking group we passed early on. The water level had also dropped on the Chattahoochee and the water looked much prettier. The namesake "palisade" rocks were actually visible in the water, unlike the last time I visited.
And most importantly, we actually saw the bamboo forest. I love bamboo and find it very peaceful to look at. I have never seen such large bamboo "stalks" in my life! The bamboo forest is well worth a visit and I think it's an even better attraction than the overlook above the Chattahoochee. The river is also easy to access near the bamboo, which makes for pretty pictures and a relaxing scene. I didn't take too many pictures during this visit, since I was with someone else and trying to socialize.
So bottom line is, give the East Palisades a shot. Especially if you live in Atlanta or close to the perimeter. I still think there are other parts of the Chattahoochee that are prettier (cough, Roswell, cough), but I am glad I came back. We also got a good workout in at just around 3.75 miles. Helpful hint- the bamboo forest is at the tail end of the trail coming off the loop in my ViewRanger picture.
I'm also going to be working in Cobb County several weeks over the next few months, so I imagine I'll be stopping off at many different parks after work to avoid sitting in traffic. Stay tuned...