A site with quick access to two interstates and one of Atlanta’s most underappreciated natural resources is set to become the first public gateway to the Chattahoochee RiverLands, a linear park that could wend for 100 miles through the metro.
The Trust for Public Land completed the purchase this month of an 8.6-acre site along the Chattahoochee River, between Interstate 285 and Six Flags Over Georgia, that’s set to be converted into the RiverLands project’s first regional trailhead.
The Cobb County recreational space, to be situated at one corner of Mableton Parkway and Discovery Boulevard, is expected to be one of roughly 25 trailheads dotting the RiverLands project, which aims to transform outdoor recreation in the metro.
The trailhead will also anchor the southern end of a 2.7-mile greenway trail connecting Mableton north to Smyrna. That will link with the Mableton Parkway Trail, which is currently under construction as a direct connection from the Chattahoochee River to the Silver Comet Trail.
TPL, a national nonprofit that works to connect people with outdoor spaces, purchased the Cobb County site with funds raised through philanthropic donations. The purchase price wasn't disclosed.
TPL officials expect to donate the trailhead and surrounding acreage, once its fully developed, to Cobb County Parks and Recreation, which would then manage it. Early designs call for a kayak launch, picnic pavilion, playground, and parking lot.
Public input on additional features will be collected before construction begins, according to George Dusenbury, TPL’s Georgia State Director.
“This is a capstone project for the Chattahoochee RiverLands,” Dusenbury said in a prepared statement, “as these trailheads will serve as an access point for the nearly 1 million nearby residents and visitors who will be able to kayak, bicycle, picnic, walk, camp, and wheel along the river.”
Monique Sheffield, Cobb County District 4 Commissioner, predicted the RiverLands project will be “transformational” and stimulate economic development in South Cobb. “We’re excited to be on the ground floor of bringing this magnificent vision to life,” said Sheffield, “and creating this new access point where our residents and visitors can enjoy our world-class river.”
According to TPL officials, the trailhead will be located two miles south of the Riverview Landing development (home to The Eddy apartments, Reformation Brewery, Grand Champion Barbecue, and Chattahoochee Coffee Company). It will also provide an entry point to Discovery Park at the River Line, where Cobb County has begun building a one-mile trail segment along the river’s west bank.
Following planning phases, TPL officials expect the trailhead site to be open in 2026.
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