We explored a new trail a couple weeks ago in an effort to get an extra couple of miles in on our weekend long run. We were already up at Bowman’s Island near the Lake Lanier Dam and had never explored Laurel Ridge Trail.
There are lots of places to start any adventure on Laurel Ridge Trail. We started at the River basin. There are parking lots there for the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area for Bowman’s Island and a parking lot for the Army Corps of Engineers with a boat launch. There are several parking lots and restrooms right off of Buford Dam Rd. as well.
The trail is approximately 3.9 mi long according to AllTrails and has lots of ups and downs. The average grade is approximately 5% and there are several sets of stairs to give you an idea of the maximum grade. The trail is relatively well maintained and most of it is shady. There are a couple of road crossings and the trail goes around several parking lots near Buford Dam Rd. Sometimes there are lots of people along the trail because access is so easy.
The scenery is beautiful and would make a lovely hiking trail, but I’ll pass next time if I’m looking to do some trail running. Bowman’s Island, across the river, is much more pleasant for a trail run if that’s what you’re looking for.