Chattahoochee River


Two paddlers in canoe picking trash out of the Chattahoochee River.

When you support the park as a Volunteer In Parks (VIP) you have the opportunity to learn about the parks resources, meet other people, and become a steward of the park. There are as many ways to volunteer in the park as there are volunteers. If all you can spare is a couple hours then join the staff at a special event or work day. If, on the other hand, you have more time to give on a regular basis, then become a Trail Blazer or become involved with long term projects. When you become a VIP you can truly say that the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is my park!

Below are descriptions of volunteer opportunities at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Please take a moment to see where you might fit in then give Dave Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator, a call at 678-538-1244 or send an e-mail, and get signed up.

  • Do you enjoy hiking along the trails at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area?

  • Are you a frequent walker at Cochran Shoals, Island Ford, Vickery Creek, or any of the other 12 land units along the river?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then become a Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Trail Blazer. This program creates a safer, more enjoyable experience for the more than 3 million park visitors at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

As a Trail Blazer you will provide an additional set of eyes and ears for park staff along the 48- mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River. You will receive 12 hours of training, including CPR & First Aid certification, keep park visitors with safe and provide first aid& when necessary, and information and resource protection reminders. Each Trail Blazer also receives training on minor trail maintenance. At the Volunteers In Parks (VIP) Monthly Meetings you will receive updated park-specific information, resource protection reminders, and volunteer reminders.

Give back to the Chattahoochee River as you clear out truckloads of trash including but not limited to balls, cans, bottles, Styrofoam, chairs, ice chest, and porta-a-potty doors! As you paddle along the river, you'll also enjoy the many sights and sounds. The native flora and fauna is sure to inspire you and make you wonder why there is so much trash.

The park can provide canoes, Personal Flotation Devices (PFD), and paddles. Volunteers with appropriate watercraft are welcome to bring it for the clean-up. Safety Note: Due to the nature of these clean-ups, a PFD must be worn at all times while on the water. When applicable, volunteers must adhere to any additional guidelines as specified by the park or their organization.

With 15 land units (6400 acres), along 48 miles of river, trash builds up in seemingly unlikely places. Corporate-based groups and concerned individuals can contact the park and set-up a work day for 2-6 hours. The park will supply direction, as well as necessary tools - gloves, trash pickers, and garbage bags. This is a nice way to enjoy your National Recreation Area, as well as contribute to the community.

With over 50 miles of trails in 15 separate park units, there is no end to trail maintenance. There is ample opportunity to improve the sustainability of pre-existing trails. The park has trained trail crew leaders that have the knowledge to appropriately build and maintain trails. No experience needed. Join us for a chance to get hands-on experience with trail work - such as building new trail and realigning old trails. The park will provide all necessary tools.

The Chattahoochee Stream Stewards (CSS) program collects baseline water quality data at sites on 12 tributaries that flow into the Chattahoochee River. All the tributaries enter the river in the northern end of the park, from Buford Dam to the Island Ford Unit. Volunteers are trained and certified with Georgia Adopt-A-Stream to monitor a given tributary once a month for temperature, pH, specific conductivity, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen. Since its launch in 2019, the CSS volunteers have collected valuable and consistent water quality data on the 12 tributaries. Visit the interactive map of these sites or check out the data collected from this program.

Please contact Annie Couch, park hydrolgist, if you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about the program.


Current CRNRA VIPs please check out the CRNRA VIP Portal to log volunteer hours, submit a service request, see upcoming volunteer events, download unit maps, contact information, and join a forum.

VIP Activity Calendar

Current CRNRA VIPs please check out the VIP Activity Calendar for upcoming volunteer events, training, and meetings!


Looking for directions to a park unit? Then visit our Driving Directions To Park Units page where you will find links to Google maps for a map to the unit entrance and GPS coordinates to enter into your vehicles GPS.


When you come to the park make sure you have a trail map with you. Visit our Maps page for links to all our trail maps. You can print out the map if you prefer a hard copy in your hands or bring your smartphone and view it online while hiking.



Current Volunteer Opportunities


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Last updated: June 9, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1978 Island Ford Parkway
Sandy Springs, GA 30350


Call 770-992-6585 for non-emergency law enforcement assistance for any event that does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of visitors or employees. Examples of when to call 770-992-6585 are for property crime (car break-ins, vandalism), suspicious activity, or a threat to the park's resources (digging). Dial 911 when there is a direct threat to the health and safety of visitors or employees. Examples of when to dial 911 are for missing person, fire, physical altercation, or injury.

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