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Georgia’s Newest State Park Showcases Chattahoochee River
Opening July 1, 2011
Georgia’s Newest State Park Showcases Chattahoochee River
Grand Opening is July 1

NEWNAN, GA, June 20, 2011 ~~ On July 1, Georgia will unveil its newest state park, Chattahoochee Bend. Located in northwest Coweta County off Flat Rock Road, the park protects seven miles of river frontage and has been eagerly anticipated by paddlers, campers and anglers. A public grand-opening ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the park’s visitor center. State Rep. Lynn Smith and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams are scheduled to speak.

At 2,910 acres, Chattahoochee Bend is one of Georgia’s largest state parks. A boat ramp provides easy access to the river, and other nearby boat ramps allow for overnight paddle trips. More than four miles of wooded trails are open for hiking and nature photography. A half-mile hike from the day-use area leads to an observation platform with views of the river and forest. Covered picnic shelters may be rented for birthday parties, family reunions and other group gatherings.

Although most of the park has been left in its natural state, campers have three options for staying overnight within the park. RV and trailer owners have their own camping section with spacious pull-through and back-in sites. Tent campers can choose from riverfront platform sites or walk-in campsites. Organized group such as Scouts have their own private area with screened Adirondack shelters and a large fire pit.

It has been nearly 20 years since the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has opened a new state park. In 1993, the state assumed operation of Tallulah Gorge State Park in a partnership with Georgia Power Company, which had already been maintaining the popular recreation area. No other new state parks have opened since that time.

“Being able to create a state park from scratch has been an amazing opportunity for the Department of Natural Resources,” said State Park Director Becky Kelley. “We talked to the community and to outdoor enthusiasts while in the planning stages, and they have a real investment in the park. We also worked very closely with Representative Lynn Smith, Coweta County officials and Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park, all whose help was crucial to making this happen.”

Members of Friends of Chattahoochee Bend have been exceptionally dedicated to building the park’s hiking trails, hosting numerous work days and contributing thousands of man hours.

“Their sweat-equity investment in Chattahoochee Bend’s trails and roads is unparalleled,” said Kelley. “We truly could not have done this without their support.”

Protecting land along the Chattahoochee River and preserving water quality has long been a priority to the DNR. Funding for land acquisition and the park’s development was provided by bonds approved in 2006. To help stretch their dollars, members of the Friends of Chattahoochee Bend State Park pitched in to build the four miles of trails that are now open for exploration. Future plans call for additional trails as volunteers and financing is available.

After July 1, Chattahoochee Bend State Park will be open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. To learn more, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/ChattahoocheeBend.

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