20 Free Nature Centers & Preserves to Explore in Georgia

[section_title title=Nature Preserves & Parks]

20freenaturecentersNature Preserves & Parks
You won’t find indoor escapes from the heat at these locations. But, you’ll enjoy some quality connection with nature. Listed in alphabetical order of city. Remember, all admission and parking is free. If you find a mistake, let me know. Visit the links to see more photos and information about each place. To view Free Nature Centers around Georgia that DO include indoor visitors & learning centers, click here.

Atlanta – Blue Heron Nature Preserve
Trails are free and open from dawn to dusk.
4055 Roswell Rd. Atlanta, Georgia 30342

Atlanta – Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Cascade Springs is an urban forest. Located in southwest Atlanta, you’ll explore moderate-strenuous hiking trails, two natural springs & waterfall.
2852 Cascade Road SW ~ Atlanta, GA 30311

Atlanta – Morningside Nature Preserve
2 miles of trail winding through rolling hills & forest.
No specific address. Find it on Google Maps, here.

Augusta – Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
Trails on the 1100 acres of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park offer excellent opportunities for visitors to view wildlife like hawks, herons, otters and alligators in their natural habitat. Group events such as hikes & bikes are often organized.
1858 Lock and Dam Road, Augusta, GA 30906

Buford – Mill Creek Nature Center
88 acres of wetlands & wildlife preserve with natural & boardwalk trails. Trail features include 2 bridges crossing Ivy Creek, an observation tower and benches along the way.
2355 Mall of Georgia Blvd, Buford, GA 30519

Covington – Alcovy River at East End
Rambling trails through forest & wetland with rock outcrops and a canoe launch.
No specific address. East End Rd, Covington. Find map & directions at link.

Decatur – Clyde Shepard Nature Preserve
A wildlife sanctuary featuring trails & boardwalks through wetlands, forest & pine groves. My friend, over at 365 Atlanta Family, recently visited with her two sons and provides a great overview of their experience. “Great places to wade in the water, play in the sand, and picnic along the creek” (Photo courtesy of 365 Atlanta Famiy)
2580 Pine Bluff Dr.Decatur, GA 30033

Dunwoody – Dunwoody Nature Center
A color-coded trail system, boardwalks, treehouse, native plant & animal habitat gardens make this a fantastic spot to go learn something about nature. Lesli Peterson, Atlanta family attractions guru, is quoted as saying, “there is enough to do to fill an awesome afternoon for any age kiddo!” Read more about her experience, with her little ones, at Dunwoody Nature Center.
5343 Roberts Drive
Dunwoody, GA 30338


Peachtree City – Flat Creek Nature Area
Mulch trail & 1200 ft boardwalk with viewing platforms, benches and species id markers on trees.
201 McIntosh Trail
Peachtree City, GA 30269

Peachtree City – Line Creek Nature Area
Enjoy hiking the hardwood forest & granite outcroppings, wade in the stream, go fishing at the pond and have a picnic.
No specific address. Find location using Google Maps, here.

Roswell – Roswell Trail System & River Walk
Trails & Greenspaces throughout Roswell and along the Chattahoochee River, conveniently listed & described by Roswell’s Visitor Bureau.

Sandy Springs – Big Trees Forest Preserve
This Tree, Plant & Wildlife Sanctuary is a remarkable urban forest. Along one & a half miles of mulched trail, you’ll discover 100-200 year old white oaks along with 2 creeks.

Sandy Springs – Morgan Falls Overlook Park
Less than a mile of shady nature walk, through hardwoods and pines, offering scenic views.
200 Morgan Falls Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350

Silver Comet Trail
The Silver Comet Trail is 61 miles long! So, pinning down a location to list it under isn’t an easy task. It runs from Smyrna to Cedartown, near the GA/AL state line. This is a paved trail that families enjoy walking, biking and even skating. There are many offshoots, from the main trail, that lead you meandering through the forests and alongside creeks.

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