Parks and Recreation


Beautiful parks and fun-filled recreational facilities are within easy reach anywhere in Athens. Amenities vary from park to park and are indicated by symbols in the following listing. Route numbers of Athens Transit buses ( or UGA buses ( that run near the various parks are indicated. Picnic shelters must be rented ahead of time, except for the one at Reese & Pope Park, which is free on a first-come basis. The Flagpole Calendar carries weekly notices of parks and recreation activities. There are no public golf courses in Athens-Clarke County, but Lane Creek Golf Club is nearby at 1201 Club Dr., Bishop, 706-769-6699,

Athens-Clarke County

Ben Burton Park
616 Mitchell Bridge Road • 706-613-3801
Hours: sunrise–sunset
Observe local nature while walking alongside the shoals in the Middle Oconee River or bring a kayak and paddle downstream.

Bishop Park
705 Sunset Dr. • 706-613-3589
Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset
Equipped with playgrounds, pool, fields and courts for a variety of sports. Programs range from tennis, gymnastics, swimming and more. The Athens Farmers Market runs Saturday mornings, April–December.

Boulevard Woods
298 Barber St. • 706-613-3801
Hours: sunrise–sunset
A small park thoughtfully designed by volunteers at the top of Boulevard.

Dudley Park
100 Dudley Park Dr. • 706-613-3801
Hours: sunrise–sunset
Walk off brunch with a history walk along the Oconee River, including the iconic trestle pictured on the back of R.E.M.’s Murmur album.

East Athens Community Center
400 McKinley Dr. • 706-613-3593
Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun, 2–6 p.m.
The center features indoor and outdoor activities for everyone as well as a branch of the public library.

Holland Youth Sports Complex
250 Vincent Dr. • 706-613-3991
Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset
The 62-acre facility hosts baseball and softball games, soccer tournaments and more.

Memorial Park
293 Gran Ellen Dr. • 706-613-3580
Hours: sunrise–sunset
A popular park in Five Points, home to the Bear Hollow Zoo (open 9 a.m.–5 p.m.), a dog park, pond and pool, as well as Athens Creative Theater.

North Oconee River Park
300 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy. • 706-613-3615
Hours: sunrise–sunset
Stretched out along the North Oconee River, this narrow strip of green is convenient for a picnic or just watching the water.

Reese & Pope Park
375 Reese St. • 706-613-3801
Hours: sunrise–sunset
A small but serviceable neighborhood park, right next to downtown.

Rocksprings Community Center & Park
291 Henderson Ext. • 706-613-3603
Hours: Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
From the pirate ship playground to the pool and picnic pavilion, this multipurpose park offers something for everybody.

Sandy Creek Nature Center
205 Old Commerce Road • 706-613-3615
Hours: Tue–Sat, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
See snakes and other cold-blooded critters up close inside this educational center. Learn about other wildlife on over four miles of trails, connecting to Sandy Creek Park.

Sandy Creek Park
400 Bob Holman Road • 706-613-3631
Hours: Tue–Sun., 7 a.m.–sunset
This large park surrounds Lake Chapman and celebrates the great outdoors with shaded trails, a disc golf course, a beach and a dog park, to name just a few of its resources.

Satterfield Park
3028 Cherokee Road • 706-613-3871
Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset
A center for team sports: where Little Leaguers dream big.

Southeast Clarke Park
4440 Lexington Road • 706-613-3871
Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset
With its 12 lighted, hard-surface tennis courts, its famous World of Wonder playscape and its pro-designed skate park, Southeast Clarke Park is a mecca for physical activity and play. 

Thomas N. Lay Park
297 Hoyt St. • 706-613-3596
Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun, 2–6 p.m.
Lay Park is downtown and accessible to everybody looking for sports activity, indoors and out.

Trail Creek Park
200 Trail Creek St. • 706-613-0185
Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset
Formerly East Athens Community Park, Trail Creek Park is now outfitted with a fitness center, a splash pad and a mountain bike trail.

UGA Parks

Legion Pool
830 S. Lumpkin St. • 706-542-8235 •
Hours: late May through July, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m.; first week in August, 3–7 p.m.
An historic pool on campus with lap lanes, a bathhouse and snack bar, Legion is enjoyed by the university community and by those who join the Friends of Campus Life. 

Oconee Forest Park
College Station Road at Alumni Drive • 706-542-4287 •
Hours: dawn–dusk
This park sits on 60 acres behind the UGA intramural fields, preserving a 100-year-old forest and its wildlife. Other features include a large off-leash dog area plus foot and bike trails.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S. Milledge Ave. • 706-542-1244 •
Hours: 8 a.m–8 p.m.
Recline by the flowers or explore the nature trails. The grounds include a visitors center with a conservatory and café and frequently serve as a concert or wedding venue. The beautiful Day Chapel in the woods is available for rental. No dogs.

Oconee County

Bogart Sports Complex
S. Burson Ave., Bogart • 706-769-3965
Hours: dawn–11 p.m.
Lighted ballfields for users from the northeastern parts of Oconee County, located behind the Bogart Library.

Heritage Park
2543 Macon Hwy., Watkinsville • 706-769-3965
Bike · Horse Trail · Restrooms · Walk
Hours: sunrise–sunset
This 364-acre park bordering the Apalachee River has miles of hiking/biking trails and horse-riding trails, as well as an open-air pavilion for agricultural and special events.

Herman C. Michael Park
1051 Elder Road, Bishop • 706-769-3966
Hours: Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
A large, sprawling park with lighted fields and courts, including a free disc golf course.

Oconee Veterans Park
3500A Hog Mountain Road, Watkinsville • 706-769-3965
Hours: dawn–9 p.m.
A community center with walking trails, tennis courts and multipurpose fields outside and a gym and track inside.

City of Winterville

Pittard Park and Pavilion
Parkview and Church streets • 706-742-8600
Hours: sunrise–sunset
Located in the heart of Winterville, this park features a party-sized pavilion, playgrounds and local metal art by Beverly Babb. In May, the park hosts the Marigold Festival.

State of Georgia

Fort Yargo State Park
210 S. Broad St., Winder • 770-867-3489 •
Basketball · Beach · Bike · Boat · Camp · Disc Golf · Fish · Grill · Playground · Picnic Shelter · Restrooms · Swim · Tennis · Walk
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
This state park on a lake in nearby Winder features a 1792 log fort and lots of cabins and campsites, as well as a wide range of recreational facilities.

Watson Mill Bridge State Park
650 Watson Mill Road, Comer • 706-783-5349 •
Symbols: remove softball.
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
This state park around a picturesque covered bridge offers log cabins and campsites, horse facilities and a river perfect for wading or paddling.