Hiking Trails

in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve

Daily Public Access, 7 a.m. to Sunset

Elachee Nature Science Center invites you to hike the 12.24-mile trail system in the 1,440-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

Savor the tranquil beauty of one of Georgia’s most diverse and largest protected green spaces. This urban forest features rolling typography and four diverse habitats: woodland, lake, stream and wetland.

Hours and Access

Hiking Trails

Open Daily, 7 a.m. to Sunset. Gate schedules vary by season.

Trail Markers

Find color-coded trail markers posted every 0.25 mile. Mileage ascends clockwise.

Fees

Free Public Access: Hiking Trails

Parking Fee: Chicopee Woods Conservation Area

  • Daily Parking Fee
    • $5 per Passenger Vehicle
    • $10 per 15-Passenger Van or Bus
  • Annual Parking Pass: $50 per Vehicle

Elachee Visitor Center and Exhibits: Hours and Fees

Regulations
  • Prohibited:
    • Dogs or Pets
    • Horses
    • Fishing and Hunting
    • Removing Plants, Animals, Rocks or Other Natural Materials from the Nature Preserve
  • Pack It In. Pack It Out. Leave No Trace.
  • No Bikes, eBikes or other Motorized Vehicles on Hiking Trails

Trail Descriptions

Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails
Trail System Operation and Maintenance

Elachee operates and maintains the Chicopee Woods Hiking Trail System thanks to a dedicated Volunteer Trail Crew.

As a private, not-for-profit organization, Elachee relies on memberships and financial support to keep these pedestrian trails pristine and accessible for the visiting public.

 

Ed Dodd Loop

Enjoy a self-guided hike among the diverse topography of Walnut Creek Valley that includes some steep sections. SEE GUIDE

Distance

0.64-Mile Loop

Color

Red

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Elachee Visitor Center near the E-House and Pollinator Garden to the service drive


Geiger Trail

Travel this paved and gently graded trail (stroller-accessible) that winds through Piedmont Oak-Hickory Forest featuring storybook kiosks and breathtaking views of the Walnut Creek Valley.

Distance

0.4-Mile Trail

Color

Khaki

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Becky Geiger Pavilion at Elachee Visitor Center to the picnic area


Elachee Creek Loop

Take a brisk hike around Elachee Creek and get your heart rate up along steep sections of the trail.

Distance

0.42-Mile Loop

Color

Yellow

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Elachee Visitor Center picnic area


Ridge Trail

Hike through Oak-Hickory Forest along the trail from the Dodd Loop to a Tulip Tree-Hardwood Forest at the intersection with Bridge Loop. Veer left onto Bridge Loop for a longer hike or stay right to return to Elachee Visitor Center.

Distance

0.35-Mile Loop

Color

Blue

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Elachee Visitor Center starting at the Dodd Loop and ending at Bridge Loop


Upland Trail

Experience a transition in topography, hiking from upland dry successional forest to riparian stream habitat along Vulture Rock Creek.

Distance

0.65-Mile Trail

Color

Light Pink

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Start at the Bridge Loop near the Elachee Visitor Center gravel trail head parking lot and end at the Bridge Loop near Vulture Rock Creek.


Bridge Loop

Hike this moderate-difficulty loop that crosses through diverse Piedmont forest types with five bridged stream crossings, including the 140-ft. suspension bridge.

Distance

2.91-Mile Loop

Color

Green

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Two access points in the Elachee Visitor Center gravel trail head parking lot


Lake Loop

Hike this moderate-difficulty loop that takes you over a large earthen dam, then tracks through several stream riparian zones and diverse forest types. Experience the 140-ft. suspension bridge along a 0.4-mile overlap with the Bridge Loop.

Distance

3.0-Mile Loop

Color

Orange

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Two access points at the Chicopee Woods Aquatic Studies Center at Chicopee Lake


Chicopee Backcountry Trail

This moderate/difficult backcountry trail is characterized by steep terrain changes and several creek crossings. Trail winds through diverse forest types and native vegetation. Trekking poles recommended. Hiking this trail in wet or inclement conditions is not recommended.
Note: Trail is point-to-point, not a loop. Plan for your return journey.

Distance

4.26-Mile Trail

Color

Fuchsia Pink

Trail Head / Access Point(s)

Two access points: at the Chicopee Woods Aquatic Studies Center at Chicopee Lake and at the Bridge Loop near the Gravel Trailhead Parking Lot.

Trail Routes

Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails

Hiking for Health

150-Mile Chicopee Challenge

Record the miles you hike along the Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails between January and December.
Earn a custom t-shirt once you reach the 150-mile goal.

Tips for Trail Use

Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails

Call 911 in Case of Emergency

  • Reference the trail you are on and the nearest mile marker (posted every 0.25 mile along each trail).
  • If you are near the Elachee Visitor Center, give this address: 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville, GA 30504
  • If you are near the Chicopee Woods Aquatic Studies Center at Chicopee Lake, give this address: 2100 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville, GA 30507
Report a Problem

If you see a tree down on the hiking trails or notice a maintenance issue on a pedestrian bridge/structure, call 770-535-1976 or email preserve@elachee.org with details (trail name, nearest mile marker and send a photo, if available).

Water and Restrooms
  • Bring your own water.
  • Portable restrooms are at Chicopee Lake and the Elachee gravel trailhead parking lot. Elachee visitor restrooms are open during business hours.