“It’s one of the most beautiful places in our country, extremely valuable to all those who know it, who live near it, and who appreciate the quiet and seclusion and the beauty and the value of this river… It’s a rare occasion when within the city limits of one of our major cities, one can find pure water and trout and free canoeing and rapids and the seclusion of the Earth the way God made it. But the Chattahoochee River is this kind of place.” President Jimmy Carter Aug. 15, 1978

Known to the Cherokees as the “Enchanted Land,” the area now known as Roswell is rich in natural beauty and resources. With hundreds of acres of protected forests, greenways and waterways, nature lovers have a wealth of opportunities at their disposal.

Many outdoor enthusiasts choose to take advantage of the water sports offered on the Chattahoochee River within the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area (CNRA), which includes 48 miles of river property. With the Atlanta Rowing Club, guided canoe and kayak tours, guided fishing and rafting with Shoot the Hooch, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a day on the water.

For those who prefer dry land, there are dozens of hiking and cycling trails to explore. Roswell is designated a Bike Friendly Community and cyclists can feel safe and comfortable riding through the scenic streets of Roswell or mountain biking on the trails of Big Creek Park. From the waterfall at Vickery Creek to the ruins of the old Mill, the jogging trails of Roswell Area Park and Leita Thompson Park, the picnic greens of Big Creek Greenway, there is no excuse not to get out and enjoy nature.

For more than 30 years, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, located along the Chattahoochee River, has served to celebrate the diverse natural habitats within the city’s boarders as well as educate its people on conservation and protection of the environment. The mission of the CNC is “fostering a personal awareness that we are ‘a part of’ and not ‘apart from’ the natural world.”

Children and adults alike are given the opportunity to interact with nature in a very personal and hands-on way through the CNC. With trail hikes, animal encounters, canoe tours, camping and much more, experts and enthusiasts are able to create an experience that ignites a love of the outdoors in the participants.

A significant portion of the forest, river and park land in Roswell is protected by the city government and state governments. Roswell understands the value of its natural resources and respects the importance of the natural habitat to this area. Recently, the Chattahoochee River was designated the nation’s first National Water Trail. This designation will provide technical assistance and resources that will preserve and protect this heavily utilized river. Thanks to this effort, the Chattahoochee River will continue to provide clean water and river access for generations to come.