Weighing in at 968 acres, this is not the largest park but it is the most popular of the CRNRA units and arguably the best. There is something for everyone; beautiful scenery, a small pond, some streams, enough trails to keep even the best runners fit, an easy (flat) 3 mile loop that is suitable even for strollers, historic mill ruins and to top it off, the park is accessible from three sides.
On the down side, erosion is taking a toll on some parts of the trails. The park service would tell you that if everyone that visited this site paid the parking fee, maybe more maintenance would be available.
Directions: From Atlanta take I-75 north to I-285. Go east on I-285 and exit at Northside Drive. Turn left onto Northside Dr. and left again onto Interstate North Pkwy. As soon as you cross the river, turn right into the parking lot.
Parking: There are three lots. One is off Interstate North Pkwy., another is at the end of Columns Drive and another off of Paper Mill Rd.
During peak hours (weekends approx. 11:30am-4:00pm), parking can be a real problem at the Columns Drive lot. The biggest problem with this entrance to the park is that no street parking is permitted on the one and only access road. The Paper Mill lot is rarely full, however. The parking lot on the south end of the trail (Powers Ferry/Interstate North Pkwy) is the largest lot but can also become overfull at peak hrs. Thankfully, street (curb) parking is allowed.