April 2021

NPS is Seeking Public Input on the CRNRA Trails Management Plan

The National Park Service is developing a long-term plan for design and maintenance of an improved pedestrian and multi-use trail system for the entirety of the Chattahoochee River NRA. Initial public commenting on the CRNRA Preliminary Trails Management Plan is open until April 15, 2021.

After working with trail users and professional trail designers, the park has developed a set of preliminary trail design proposals for each of the park’s 15 land units. The preliminary designs aim to improve the visitor experience on trails, the sustainability of the park’s trail system, and its connectivity to planned and existing regional trail systems.

For more information on thetrail plan and a link to provide comments, go to: https://www.chattahoocheeparks.org/page-18114

Celebrating Restoration of the Cochran Shoals Multi-use Trail

On Thursday, March 18th, CNPC and CRNRA held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the 6.7 miles of multi-use trails in the Sope Creek and Columns Drive areas of the Cochran Shoals Unit. This collaborative project was funded by REI, CNPC, MTB Atlanta, and the CRNRA, spending more than $50,000 for trail improvements. The trail maintenance work was performed by MTB Atlanta Pro Trails, a Student Conservation Association trail crew, and National Park Service (NPS) volunteers. Special thanks to Dave Thomas, the Volunteer Coordinator for CRNRA, for helping to make this happen.


The project included heavy maintenance on most of the degraded sections of multi-use trails which are popular with mountain bikers, trail runners and walkers. The project also included upgraded signage to improve the visitor experience. Certain more degraded sections which were not easily rehabilitated will be rerouted in the future following the park-wide Trails Management Plan  under development by CRNRA..

First of Three Replacement Overlooks at Cochran Shoals is Completed

CNPC is currently working to replace the three popular overlooks in the Cochran Shoals unit of the CRNRA. The Cochran Shoals unit, which includes the Sope Creek area, is the most-visited unit of the CRNRA. The overlooks are directly on the Chattahoochee River and have been well-loved by park visitors for years but are in poor condition. Construction began in March 2021 beginning with Pier #1 located closest to the Interstate North Parking Lot. The project will be phased over one year for the demolition and replacement of the three overlooks. CNPC is actively fundraising for this project which will cost over $60,000. For information on how you can donate to support the new Cochran Shoals overlooks go to www.chattahoocheeparks.org/join-donate[p1] .

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National Park Week is April 17-25, 2021

Every April, the National Park Service joins with the National Park Foundation to celebrate National Park Week and America’s treasured parks. Each day of National Park Week has its own theme and explores parks and programs, history and culture, and ways to find and support your national parks. For more information on special activities and ways to get involved, go to https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/national-park-week.htm#CP_JUMP_6810957[p1] 

April 17  Park Rx Day (Fee Free Day!)
April 18  VIP (Volunteers In Parks)
April 19  Military Monday
April 20  Transformation Tuesday
April 21  Wayback Wednesday
April 22  Earth Day
April 23  Friendship Friday

April 24  Junior Ranger Day
April 25  BARK Ranger Day

Earth Day is April 22 and an important part of our National Park Week celebration. This annual global event encourages education and stewardship of the planet's natural resources. Share your Earth Day experiences and favorite memories with parks using #EarthDay and #NationalParkWeek. For more information, go to  https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/earth-day.htm.

Photo from National Park Service.



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It’s Spring-time and It’s Earth Day — Is there a Better Time to Talk about Amphibians?

By Mark Mandica, Founder and Executive Director of the Amphibian Foundation


For me, it’s always a good time to talk about frogs and salamanders, but for Earth Day, let’s highlight some of the wonderful things amphibians do for us, why they are worth protecting, and how lucky we are to have places like the CRNRA to get out and observe them in nature!

In the Georgia Piedmont there are at least 28 species of amphibians, and in an area like the CRNRA with multiple habitat types, we can encounter many of them. Most of our local amphibians utilize the streams, woodlands, and (my favorite) puddles. About a quarter of our local species use little puddles called ephemeral wetlands that dry up completely after a few months. This prevents fish from occupying these wetlands, but it also puts significant pressure on the tadpoles to develop quickly so they can metamorphose before their wetland dries out! Some local species that use ephemeral wetlands are the Marbled Salamander, Spotted Salamander, Spring Peeper, and Chorus Frog.

Amphibians are also in trouble! 43% of them are in decline or already extinct. With over 8,300 species described world-wide, we are talking about the simultaneous loss of over 3,500 amphibian species … and can you guess what the vast majority of them eat? That’s right, bugs. One study confirmed that one thousand frogs eat five million insects a year! Some species, including the incredible and secretive Marbled Salamander (which can be found here in the Hooch flood plain), specialize in eating mosquitos so they are doing a great service for us.

Next time you are at the CRNRA, thank a salamander for all the great work!

Image Caption - The Marbled Salamander, a local ephemeral wetland breeding amphibian, is active in autumn and can generally be found in the weeks leading up to Halloween! Photo by the Amphibian Foundation.

Updates and Opportunities

    Successful Sweep the HoochSaturday, March 27 was a very successful Sweep the Hooch for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper with 54 volunteer sites along the Chattahoochee River. At CNPC’s sponsored site at CRNRA Akers Mill, 15 volunteers collected 29 bags of trash, two floats, one raft, and assorted car and computer parts. Our fantastic volunteers worked very hard and all contributed to a cleaner park and a healthier Chattahoochee River watershed. CNPC is a proud sponsor of Sweep the Hooch.

    Book of the Month – Frogs and Toads of the Southeast by Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons

    Concerned about the recent worldwide decline in amphibian populations and their habitats? Want to know the difference between frogs and toads? Wondering what species you see in the park and in your backyard? With over 250 photos and detailed descriptions of individual species, Frogs and Toads of the Southeast discusses natural history, distinguishing characteristics, morphology, and where to find the incredible diversity of species occurring in the southeastern United States.

    Family Fun – Ways to make EVERY Day Earth Day

    Looking for ways to do your part to help our planet? Reduce waste and recycle, turn off the lights, limit water usage, and plant a tree. Volunteer as a family at your local parks and during river clean-ups. Encourage everyday changes at home like reusable bags and shorter showers. If everyone makes small changes, it will lead to big changes for our planet!

    Become a CNPC member or donate today!

    YOU can help us achieve our vision of an inspired and thriving community of support for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

    CNPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are proud to support our Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a unit of the national park system managed by the National Park Service.

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    Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy
    P.O. Box 769332, Roswell, GA 30076
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