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Nine Years of our Thursday Morning Hikes at Island Ford!!

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Sandy Springs, GA   Hike: Nine Years of our Thursday Morning Hikes at Island Ford!!  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, May 25 2023  10:00 am >> Thu, May 25 2023 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, May 18 2023 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, May 25 2023 10:00 am
Event Duration:2 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:5.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Joyce T.
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:15
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


This week is deserving of special recognition because it ends the 9th year that we have held our Thursday morning hikes at Island Ford.  Some of the participants who joined us within the first few months of the hike in 2015 are still with us today, and we hope some of them will be able to participate on this hike: Doug H., Jeff W., Suzanne W., Susan F., Mikey H., Bill L., Michael M., and Mike Collins.

Our current "regulars" are very proud of continuing the tradition and now use this Thursday morning hike as a regular social-workout time. 

If you can't make the hike, please join us at about 12:15 pm at the North River Tavern for lunch!  We'd love to see you!  (You can join the D-Zero hikers if you can't make the hike with us!)

Island Ford is one of the most beautiful trails along the Chattahoochee, and the Visitor Center for all of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area parks.

This hike is fast, so it's not an appropriate hike for folks who want to enjoy the trails and take in the river views.   Additionally, this is NOT a beginner's hike.  Our fast pace over hills is going to be challenging, even for those of us who have been regulars on the hike for years.  The trails have lots of rocks and roots to navigate, adding to the difficulty of the event.  If you haven't done any hilly, faster D2 hikes yet,  you should build up to this event.  We don't want to slow down the group to wait for people who can't keep up the pace. 

BE SURE YOU HYDRATE WELL THE DAY BEFORE THE HIKE and bring water/electrolyte drinks to the hike. Even in cooler temperatures, fluids are essential.

Please sign up as soon as registration opens, as this hike tends to fill up quickly, and we don't want you to end up on the waiting list.

We'll start at the MIDDLE parking lot, called the Hewlett Pond parking lot. This lot is NOT the first lot on the left, nor is it the Visitor Center lot;  rather, it's the lot before you come to the pond, on the left side of the road. .  . about .6 miles from the entrance.  We've found that parking in this lot is always light, and it affords a variety of routes to hike.

We'll start the hike promptly at 10:00 am.  Arrive at least 5 minutes early to meet everyone before we start,  and/or to purchase a $5 parking pass if you don't own an annual pass. Passes can be purchased online in advance at

 If you think you might need to use the restroom before we start, give yourself an extra 15 minutes, as you'll have to drive to the Visitor Center and then drive back to the trailhead to park


No more than 3 dogs on the hike, so if 3 dogs are already listed, please do not add yours. If you bring your dog, it must be kept on leash at all times.  The reputation of the AOC is damaged when we break the leash law!  Please - - no aggressive dogs who might challenge other dogs or people on the hike.

Willow was aiming for some stomach rubs.

This is an example of a suitable, non-aggressive dog!  :-)

For folks who are interested, let's plan to eat lunch together after the hike at the nearby North River Tavern, where the Thursday special is burgers for $7.95. It's very close to the park - - about a 5 minute drive.   8879 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350  

Required Items to Bring:

Sturdy hiking shoes, water (electrolyte fluids are adviseable)
Annual pass, a prepaid daily parking pass, or your smart phone to purchase a $5 daily pass at


Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
Hiking poles if you like to use them

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

1906 Island Ford Pkwy, Sandy Springs, GA

From northbound US 19 and GA 400
- Take exit #6 (Northridge Road).
- Coming off the exit, stay in the right lane, cross over GA 400, and turn right onto Dunwoody Place.
- Go 0.5 miles to Roberts Drive.
- Turn right and proceed 0.7 miles to the park entrance on your right.

From southbound US 19 and GA 400
- Take exit #6 (Northridge Road)
- Continue straight ahead at the traffic light onto Dunwoody Place.
- Go 0.5 miles to Roberts Drive.
- Turn right and proceed 0.7 miles to the park entrance on your right.

Once you enter the main gate, drive down the road about .6 miles until you see the Hewlett Pond parking lot on the left, above road level.  There will be a pond on your right if you drive past the lot.


Trail Map -

Annual Pass Purchase: 

North River Tavern:  8879 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350  (Optional lunch site)

Restrooms are available down the road at the Visitor Center.  Allow an extra 15 minutes to use the bathroom so that you can get back to the middle lot in time to meet your fellow hikers before we start.

Don't forget that there is a $5 non-cash fee to park at Island Ford. (An annual pass can be purchased at the Visitor Center for $40. Lifetime passes are available to seniors over 62 for $80.)  

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

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

Please cancel your registration yourself up to the time of the hike if you can't join us after all.  It puts an unnecessary burden on the trip leaders to ask them to delete your registration before the hike starts.