Parks & Green Spaces

State Botanical Garden of Georgia

2450 S. Milledge Ave. • 706-542-1244 •

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is maintained by UGA and encompasses more than 300 acres. The Garden is a popular destination for Athenians, with its five miles of well-kept nature trails, some of which follow the banks of the Oconee River. The mission of the Garden has been “to foster appreciation, understanding and stewardship of plants and nature†since its founding in 1968, and to create a “living laboratory.†Several beautiful, diverse gardens flourish, such as the International Garden, Native Flora Garden, Shade Garden and Heritage Garden. The Visitor’s Center houses a gift shop and three-story conservatory. Classes, seminars and art exhibitions are held all year long. Smoking and pets are not allowed on the premises.

The following parks are run by Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services (706-613-3800, and are open during daylight hours. Call for seasonal schedules. No smoking is allowed in ACC parks.

Bishop Park

705 Sunset Dr. • 706-613-3589

Julius F. Bishop Park features athletic fields, basketball courts, a playground, a seasonal swimming pool, a paved walking path, a picnic area and tennis courts (including covered courts). Named for a former Athens mayor, the park is home to many youth sports, including the Athens-Clarke Gymnastics Academy. The Athens Farmers Market is held at the park from May through November.

Memorial Park

293 Gran Ellen Dr. • 706-613-3580

Memorial Park is located in the historic Five Points area, spanning 72 acres. The Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail, a small zoo that houses eagles, bobcats, white-tailed deer, owls, bears and alligators, is inside. Other amenities include a three-acre lake, a seasonal swimming pool, picnic shelters, a playground and a confined dog park. Check Kidstuff in the Flagpole Calendar for seasonal kids’ events like Zoo Day and the Groundhog Day Celebration.

North Oconee River Greenway

205 Old Commerce Rd. • 706-613-3615

The North Oconee River Greenway covers 150 acres spanning 3.5 miles and links local parks, neighborhoods and community centers. This “linear park†boasts a 10-foot-wide path which connects to Cook’s Trail at Sandy Creek Nature Center and follows the North Oconee River south from the nature center toward downtown and Dudley Park.

Sandy Creek Nature Center

205 Old Commerce Rd. • 706-613-3615

The Sandy Creek Nature Center is an educational preserve that connects to Cook’s Trail and to the North Oconee River Greenway. It encompasses wetlands, woodlands and field ecosystems that span 225 acres in total, including more than four miles of hiking trails. The center’s Environment, Natural Science and Appropriate Technology Building (ENSAT) has a natural science resource library, interactive exhibits, a gift shop and live reptiles and amphibians. The remains of a 100-plus-year-old brick factory and a 19th-century log house are open for exploring. Check the weekly Flagpole Calendar for Sandy Creek’s seasonal events and activities for kids.

Sandy Creek Park

400 Bob Holman Rd. • 706-613-3631

Sandy Creek Park is the largest of the county’s parks, covering 782 acres surrounding Lake Chapman. It boasts hiking trails, picnic sites, horse trails, playgrounds, fishing spots, basketball courts and tennis courts. The park is home to a disc golf course ($1 per person) and a public dog park (private dog parks available at $1 per dog per hour). For ages 4–64, there is a $2 entrance fee; for all others, admittance is free.

Southeast Clarke Park

4440 Lexington Rd. • 706-613-3871

This 124-acre park has several attractions, including a playground, skate park, dog parks and recreational facilities. The World of Wonder Playground is the largest volunteer-built playground in the state of Georgia. The 1,700-sq.-ft. area is filled with slides, swings, bridges and mazes. Nearby, the Skate Park is 14,000-sq. ft. of ramps, bowls and rails which are open to BMX bikers and skateboarders. Wiggley Field is a main attraction for dog lovers where there are separate areas for small and large dogs to enjoy. Southeast Clarke also offers softball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a walking/jogging path and nature trails.

Other Parks

Ben Burton Park

616 Mitchell Bridge Rd. • 706-613-3800

Dudley Park

100 Dudley Park Dr. • 706-613-3615

East Athens Community Center

400 McKinley Dr. • 706-613-3593

Heritage Park

2543 Macon Hwy. • Watkinsville • 706-769-3965

Holland Youth Sports Complex

250 Vincent Dr. • 706-613-3604

North Oconee River Park

300 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pkwy. • 706-613-3615

Reese & Pope Park

375 Pope St. • 706-613-3800

Rocksprings Community Center & Park

291 Henderson Ext. • 706-613-3603

Satterfield Park

3028 Cherokee Rd. • 706-613-3589

Thomas N. Lay Park

297 Hoyt St. • 706-613-3596

Wesley Whitehead Park

495 Cherokee Rd.