The halfway point in the hike is a powerline clearing at 2. As the ascent moderates the trail passes through a set of stone pillars, crosses busy Buford Dam Road and continues on the side through a set of the same stone pillars. The trail crosses the tributary a number of times, usually on a wooden bridge, but in one spot a boulder provides an easy crossing. In full sun for about 0. The trail ascends slightly before dropping over feet to the base of Buford Dam and the Chattahoochee River. In full sun, the trail follows a sidewalk, descending a set of steps and making a hard left-hand turn at the bottom. The rest of the loop stays pretty much level with no major elevation changes. At the end of the clearing the path curves to the left, drops down a set of steps, crosses a land bridge, then makes a sharp right-hand turn.
The rest of the loop stays pretty much level with no major elevation changes. The trail crosses the tributary a number of times, usually on a wooden bridge, but in one spot a boulder provides an easy crossing. The trail makes a hard left turn, but continue on, bearing to the right to an overlook. There are a couple of trail intersections here, one with a sign and one without; however, the side trail ends shortly at an overlook. Immediately on the other side of the last pavilion is a short side trail to a platform with a great view of Lake Lanier. Benches occasionally line the trail as it begins its descent into the Chattahoochee River Valley. Past the blowdown area a bench on a wooden bridge allows a peaceful moment watching the tributary flow easily down a near vertical wall. The others are in the Cooper Furnace area of Lake Allatoona and Smithgall Woods Conservation Area near Helen, Georgia Beginning at the Lower Overlook between a rest room and Highway 20, the treadway bears left shortly after the end of the building across a small valley, then makes a brief climb to the road. Return to the trail and continue the extended descent. Overlook on Lake Lanier The trail follows the level, river birch lined east bank of the Chattahoochee River south. Quickly, the path begins a descent to the first view of Lake Lanier since the start of the trail. Back on the trail, cross the bridge to another smaller parking lot. Restrooms and a water fountain are available here at the trailhead. Again, follow the hiker signs and take the steps on the other side of the restrooms down the paved path. Along the way is another overlook, followed by stone steps leading down to the second road crossing. As with so many of these trails in the Lake Lanier area, dogs are not permitted. The trail crosses directly through this lot, but another overlook platform can be found at the far end of the parking lot. This park is frequently, and erroneously, listed as the Bowman's Island Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which actually begins south of the park. Along the way are a number of facilities including bathrooms, water fountains, swimming areas, scenic views and boat ramps, making this an excellent family hike. From this point on, the brown and white hiker signs are important, as the trail passes through parking lots and parks and can get slightly confusing, although marked the entire way. The trail begins an easy descent, making a hard right into the first picnic area, skirting rest rooms on the left. To get around a shelter, the path turns right, then left, returning to compacted soil. About feet past a wooden walkway a trail on the right leads onto a wooden walkway that forms the entrance to Bowman's Island. The trail then circles around a small pond before making its way back to the trailhead and parking lot. During this short portion you are in full sun. Almost immediately the trail crosses a finger of Lake Lanier on a boardwalk, continuing to another dock overlook of Lanier.
Video about lake lanier hiking:
Lake Lanier Construction
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