Cochran Mill Park in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, has grown to be a popular cycling destination located just a short drive West South West from Atlanta. This 20-mile trail network provides a delightful experience with varying terrain, scenic waterfalls, and an array of flora and fauna. While the park shows much promise, it's crucial to remember that it is still a work in progress, particularly when it comes to trail markings and bridge necessities.
Head west from Atlanta on South Fulton Parkway and take a right turn (North) on Cochran Mill Road. You'll see the park about one mile on your left. A map of the trail network can be found here. Parking costs $5, a point of contention among some cyclists, but worth the entry for the experiences waiting inside.
Starting near the back of the park's bathrooms, the West Trail crosses Cedar Branch Creek and offers a mix of single tracks and some road sections. The trail has challenging sections, like the Creek Ford Crossing at Bear Creek, which has a wide, deep, and sandy bottom. Unfortunately, the lack of a bridge means you'll have to walk across and get your shoes wet.
Although the East Trails lack sufficient markings, causing some cyclists to get lost, they hold potential for a better experience. If you decide to explore here, a map or GPS is highly recommended.
Cyclists who frequent the park describe it as Atlanta's hidden gem, with red trails offering an excellent flow and some technical challenges. The yellow trail is a crowd favorite for a less demanding but equally thrilling ride. The orange and green trails, located opposite the road from the parking lot, offer a bigger challenge, particularly in their rockier sections.
Despite its merits, Cochran Mill Park needs a few upgrades:
Cochran Mill Park could be a great cycling destination with a few improvements. The trail system has enough variety to keep both beginners and more seasoned riders engaged. However, until key infrastructural issues are resolved, the park's full potential remains untapped. Yet, those willing to navigate its quirks will find a rewarding, scenic ride unlike any other in the region.