Gardens & Parks
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UGA facilities

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
A 313-acre preserve set aside by the University of Georgia to foster appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of plants and nature. Features miles of hiking trails bordering the Middle Oconee River, a 3-story tropical conservatory, and gardens showcasing native and international flora. Read about the history and growth of the Botanical Garden.

Oconee Forest Park
A 60-acre natural area on the UGA campus providing recreation, teaching, and research opportunities for the community while preserving its 100-year-old forest.

Founders Memorial Garden
The Garden houses over 300 species of plants and features historic trees, shrubs, and perennials. It serves as a teaching resource and public garden for all campus users and visitors to appreciate, and commemorates the twelve Georgia women who founded the American garden club movement, which was established in Athens in 1891, and is also dedicated as a memorial garden to those who served in the US Armed Forces.

The Trial Gardens
The UGA Horticulture Trial Gardens evaluate the newest varieties of annuals from all over the world and put perennials to the test to find those that stand up to southeastern heat and humidity. The garden is open to the public year-round and offers detailed information on the plants trialed.

Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden
Highlights medicinal plants of cultural significance in Latin America and focuses attention on the critical need for conservation of this biodiversity.

ACC facilities

Flagpole Magazine's guide to parks in Athens.

Bear Hollow Zoo
Bear Hollow's exhibits of native Georgia wildlife such as black bears, bobcats, deer, eagles, owls, and river otters teach visitors about wildlife and our community's reliance on natural systems of the environment.

Ben Burton Park
A 32-acre wildlife preserve comprised of floodplain and forest habitats. It features a hardwood forest, a 1.2 mile mineral surface loop trail, scenic shoals on the Middle Oconee River, open fields, picnic tables and grills.

Bishop Park
A 33-acre park offering athletic fields, basketball courts, a swimming pool, a gym, a playground, tennis courts, a walking trail and a picnic area.

Boulevard Woods Community Park
A volunteer-driven effort to design and build a distinctive community park in the Boulevard area on an empty lot on Barber Street.

Cook’s Trail
A 4.1 mile path that follows the floodplain of Sandy Creek from Lake Chapman in Sandy Creek Park to Sandy Creek Nature Center where it connects to the North Oconee River Greenway. The trail crosses over boardwalks and bridges through a wetland and beaver dam swamp.

Dudley Park
A 12-acre park nestled in the confluence of Trail Creek and the North Oconee River nearby downtown Athens and the University of Georgia. This natural resource park features hardwoods, open fields, and picnic tables.

Holland Youth Sports Complex
The 62-acre facility features six baseball fields and four soccer fields.

Lay Park
Offers a fitness room, game room, gymnasium, basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool, computer lab, library, and more.

Memorial Park
Covers 72 acres in the historic Five Points district and features a three-acre lake, swimming pool, playground, picnic shelters, and an enclosed dog park. Additionally, Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail, the Birchmore Trail, and Athens Creative Theatre are located at the park.

North Oconee River Greenway
A 3.75 mile long paved bicycling and walking path open sunrise to sunset.

North Oconee River Park
20-acre greenspace providing an urban oasis for both humans and animals

Reese & Pope Park
Provides a picnic area, playground, and basketball court.

Rocksprings Community Center and Park
This 6 acre park features a recreation building, playground, outdoor pool, and basketball courts.

Sandy Creek Nature Center
225 acres of woodlands, fields, and wetlands serve as a wildlife sanctuary and environmental education facility. Provides more than 5 miles of nature trails. The Education & Visitor Center features interactive learning centers which promote understanding of our natural environment.

Sandy Creek Park
The largest of the county's parks with 782 acres featuring Lake Chapman surrounded by rolling fields and woods. Offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities including playgrounds, sports areas, swimming, hiking, camping, horse trails, dog runs, disc golf and picnic areas.

Satterfield Park
Features five athletic fields, three tennis courts, and a playground.

Southeast Clarke Park
This 124-acre park has an array of amenities including baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, a walking path and nature trails. The park is also home to the World of Wonder Playground, Wiggly Field Dog Park, and Skatepark of Athens.

Trail Creek Park
A facility featuring athletic fields, nature trails, a mountain bike trail, a playground, picnic areas, and an outdoor fitness zone.

maps of gardens & parks

The Birchmore Trail at Memorial Park

North Oconee River Greenway

Oconee Forest Park

Sandy Creek Nature Center

Sandy Creek Park

State Botanical Garden


ACC Leisure Services Program Guide
A schedule of events held at facilities of the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department including Lyndon House Arts Center, the Morton Theatre, Sandy Creek Nature Center, and area parks.

Piedmont Gardeners Tour
The annual garden tour has been presented by the Piedmont Gardeners since 1992, and features an inside look at the Athens area's most inspired private gardens. Visitors will see a variety of garden styles, structures, and plant collections and will be able to talk with the gardeners.


Athens Area Master Gardener Association
Members volunteer by conducting gardening clinics and answering gardening questions, working on community beautification projects, etc.

Boulevard Gardening Club
Organizes community-oriented events and projects to educate, beautify, and build community through a love of plants and gardening.

Garden Club of Georgia
With the mission of beautification, conservation, and education, the first garden club in America was founded in Athens in 1891. The state headquarters of the Garden Club of Georgia, an all-volunteer service organization, are located at the State Botanical Garden in Athens.

Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance
Headquartered at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, the GPCA is a network of organizations that work to prevent local extinctions of rare plant populations, using techniques such as habitat restoration, invasive species management, and applied population genetics to protect Georgia’s most imperiled plant populations.

Piedmont Gardeners
A nonprofit organization of serious gardeners whose primary interest is enhancing their gardening skills and knowledge as well as promoting the love of gardening in the Athens area through community service projects.