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A Sunday Hike thru East Palisades with Ranger Hightower

The Basics:
Event Type:Learn
Event Location: 1425 Indian Trail NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Apr 28 2019  9:00 am >> Sun, Apr 28 2019 2:00 pm
Registration Opens: Sun, Apr 21 2019 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Apr 27 2019 10:00 pm
Event Duration:5 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:4 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Gayle M.
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:20
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Join Ranger Hightower, "Mr. Chattahoochee", teach us about  our beloved East Palisade witha leisurely hike thru learning all about the ferns & flowers along the trail. He will also be teaching us about th history of East Palisades. You MUST register with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area at 678-538-1200. Then register here with the AOC.

This is the write-up by Ranger Hightower:

Indian Ridge, Charlie’s Trapping Creek to Mountain Heath Creek and a Cabin Creek South Fork Return   

 Related image


Description: Join Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a look at this beautiful area from the south to the north.  We will travel down Indian Ridge Trail to Charlie’s Trapping Creek, across the floodplain, and then climb to the summit of Overlook Ridge along the Salamander Creek Trail.  After enjoying the grand view above Devil’s Race Course Shoals, we will take Cabin Creek Trail north to Mountain Heath Creek and the Bamboo Grove.  We will return to Indian Ridge along the south fork of the Cabin Creek Trail.  We will travel above rock cliffs, past Civil War gun emplacements, through mature oak-hickory forest, mesic ravine forest, and floodplain forest. Our hike will take us over and past extraordinary rock outcrops and formations influenced by the Brevard Fault, which runs through the Unit.  A wonderful diversity of ferns, wildflowers, and flowering shrubs from ridge top to ravine bottom will enrich this trek.   This is a special opportunity to explore the East Palisades from the south to the north and back.

Location: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, East Palisades Unit; meet in the Indian Trail parking area and trail head; 1425 Indian Trail NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30327 at the bulletin board.  Go south on Northside Drive and Indian Trail is the fourth street on the right.  Indian Trail goes directly into the park.  

Facilities:  None

Difficulty:  Moderately strenuous.  There are several steep accents and descents.

Bring: Remember to bring water and a lunch to eat in the forest.  Dress for the weather and wear very comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  Carry water. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.                                                                                                                                          

Reservations are required by calling 678-538-1200.


Ranger Jerry Hightower is probably one of the most high-profile members of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area team. Spending his whole life on the river, Jerry now dedicates his life to helping protect and serve the park he also had a hand in founding.

Jerry grew up not too far from East Palisades and Powers Island and remembers the Chattahoochee River as one of his favorite “playgrounds” and one the best classroom he ever learned from as a child.

While active in the Army, Jerry became involved in the conservation movement. Determined to protect the river that taught him so much, he represented the Wildlife Federation and the Friends of the River in the League of Conservation Voters.

In 1978 when the park was created, Jerry was able to begin a career as a park ranger to safeguard the river he loved his entire life. His official title now is Park Ranger, though colleagues and visitors alike know him for much more.

There is no typical day for Jerry as a ranger as his job entails so many different aspects of education and interpretation. Jerry visits local schools to teach young children about Chattahoochee River NRA and how they can work to guard it and help it flourish. He performs roving and basic interpretation, leading hikes and canoes trips and teaching visitors about the history and wonder of the park. He leads environmental education programs, helps around the park headquarters, offers teacher training, and so much more.


National Park Service Ranger Jerry Hightower


Jerry’s passion is environmental education. He loves introducing people to the wonders and extraordinarily diverse resources of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Jerry believes teaching others about natural resources and how to defend them is the key to saving national parks and even our own backyards.

“I’ve got to have faith in generations I will never know,” says Jerry. “My success or failure [as a ranger] isn’t measured by me or anyone today, but by the actions of generations to come.”

Though he finds it difficult to choose one moment as his favorite memory in Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is paddling the river at night and spotting a great blue heron flying across the face of the full moon.


Required Items to Bring:



Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

1425 Indian Trail NW                        GPS Coordinates ~

Atlanta, Georgia 30327                     33.888818, -84.432528

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Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.