The 2023-2024 Flagpole Guide To Athens, GA


Athens has many public parks, some of which are connected by the North Oconee River Greenway, which features several scenic miles of walking and biking paths. Amenities vary and are indicated by symbols on this page. Picnic shelters must be rented ahead of time at most parks. Athens’ only public golf course is the UGA Golf Course, at 2600 Riverbend Road; Lane Creek Golf Club is in nearby Bishop. Athens-Clarke County government also has a “Park Finder” app to help match users with locations that fit their amenity selections. For a complete list of county parks and recreation areas, please visit

Athens-Clarke County

SORBA Mountain Bike Loop and Skill Park

100 Newton Bridge Road •

Hours: sunrise–sunset

A newly-opened course on the property of General Time Athens, built by MTB Atlanta and maintained by SORBA Athens volunteers. The space features a wooden skills course (teeter totter, small rollers, etc.) and a ¾-of-a-mile trail loop with small rock features that can be bypassed. Open to all skill levels. Helmets are required and motorized vehicles are not permitted.

Ben Burton Park

615 Mitchell Bridge Road • 706-613-3620

Hours: sunrise–sunset

The 32-acre in-town wildlife preserve features a hardwood forest, trails, restrooms and a picnic shelter. A boat launch and shoals provide easy access to the Middle Oconee River.

Bishop Park

705 Sunset Drive • 706-613-3589

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

This large Normaltown park is equipped with fields and courts for a variety of sports, a paved walking path and a pool. Programs include tennis, pickleball, gymnastics, swimming and more. Home to the Athens Farmers Market on Saturdays from March to December.

Boulevard Woods Park

298 Barber St. • 706-613-3620

Hours: sunrise–sunset

This cute pocket park in the Boulevard neighborhood has a paved walking loop, a small playground and an amphitheater.

Dudley Park

100 Dudley Park Road • 706-613-3620

Hours: sunrise–sunset

This 32-acre park is near downtown by the river and features open fields, restrooms, an amphitheater and connections to the Firefly Trail and the North Oconee River Greenway.

Firefly Trail

Multiple entrances: East Broad Street, Dudley Park, Poplar Street, Inglewood Avenue, Old Winterville Road • 706-613-3801 •

Hours: sunrise–sunset

This 39-mile rail trail project begins in downtown Athens and extends three miles towards Winterville where an additional 1.6-mile trail section is often called the “Model Mile.” The entire walking and biking trail is set to extend to Union Point along the historic Georgia Railroad corridor, and phase two of expansion (consisting of the bridge over Trail Creek/Murmur Trestle) is currently underway.

Greenway and Riverside Parks


Hours: sunrise–sunset

These linear parks have over eight miles of concrete for non-motorized use. Connections include Dudley Park, Firefly Trail, Sandy Creek Nature Center and Sandy Creek Park. Please note that Cook’s Trail near Sandy Creek Nature Center is prone to flooding, so checking the park website is advised. For a complete list of trails and points of interest, please visit

Heard Park

400 McKinley Drive • 706-613-3593

Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun, 2–6 p.m.

Previously named the East Athens Community Center, this facility has indoor and outdoor activities to serve everyone from kids to seniors and also includes a branch of the public library.

Holland Youth Sports Complex

250 Vincent Drive • 706-613-3991 (before 4 p.m.); 706-613-3604 (after 4 p.m.)

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

The 62-acre sports complex is home to Athens United soccer, Downtown Falcons football and Athens Little League baseball and softball action.

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.

Athens’ only downtown park is accessible to everybody looking to get active, both indoors and out with activities like tennis, pickleball, pétaqnue, swimming in the outdoor pool and more.

Memorial Park

293 Gran Ellen Drive • 706-613-3580

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

This popular 72-acre park in the heart of Five Points is home to Bear Hollow Zoo (open 9 a.m.–5 p.m.), trails, a dog park, a playground, a duck-filled pond and a public pool, as well as Athens Creative Theatre.

Reese & Pope Park

375 Reese St. • 706-613-3801

Hours: sunrise–sunset

This is a small neighborhood park with basketball courts, a picnic shelter and a playground.

Rocksprings Community Center & Park

291 Henderson Ext. • 706-613-3602

Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

This multipurpose park has something for everyone, including a pirate-ship playground, pool and splash pad.

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 live critters up close. Features 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands, with over four miles of trails (including an ADA interpretive trail) plus an exhibit hall, planetarium and gift shop. Discover a 19th Century log house and the ruins of a century-old brick factory. The Nature Playscape invites visitors to explore and be as adventurous in nature as possible. Please note that dogs, bikes, skates, skateboards and scooters are not allowed in the playscape.

Sandy Creek Park

400 Bob Holman Road • 706-613-3631

Hours: Tue–Sun., 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

The county’s largest park (782 acres total) surrounds picturesque Lake Chapman featuring a beach, dog parks (one public and five private) and trails. Enjoy disc golf, picnicking, boating and fishing. The park is open mostly from sunrise to sunset but changes depending on the time of the year.

Satterfield Park

2950 Cherokee Road • 706-613-3991

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

A community park with a playground, athletic fields for baseball/softball, courts for tennis/pickleball and a picnic area. Satterfield is also home to the East Athens Little League.

Southeast Clarke Park

4440 Lexington Road • 706-613-3991

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

Home to World of Wonder, this 135-acre park is home to the largest play area in the park system and features two playgrounds, three dog parks and pickleball courts. Also the Skate Park of Athens, with a series of concrete ramps, bowls and rails.

Tennis Center

4460 Lexington Road • 706-613-3991

Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun, 1–6 p.m.

This center offers year-round usage for open play, leagues, instructional programs, clinics and tournaments and includes 12 lighted, hard-surface courts with viewing and staging areas. There’s also a covered pavilion, restrooms and office and meeting facilities. The center is staffed seven days a week according to hours of operation, but courts open daily at 8 a.m. (Hours may be affected by the weather.)

Walker Park

200 Trail Creek St. • 706-613-3991

Hours: 8 a.m.–sunset

A sprawling, 113-acre park just minutes from downtown, Walker Park has a fitness zone, an ADA accessible playground, a popular splash pad for kids, soccer fields and mountain bike trails.

UGA Parks

Legion Pool

830 S. Lumpkin St. • 706-542-8235 •

Hours: late May through July, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m.; beginning of August, 3–7 p.m.

A historic pool with lap lanes and a bathhouse, Legion is enjoyed each summer 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 60-acre park with hiking trails sits behind the UGA intramural fields, preserving a 100-year-old forest and its wildlife around Lake Herrick.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia

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

Hours: 8 a.m.–7 p.m.

Admire beautiful and diverse gardens and explore nature trails, but no dogs. The grounds include a visitors center with a conservatory and café and a new Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum (with an elevator from the parking area down to the visitors center). The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden is a hands-on, kid-centric wonderland. Some garden facilities, such as the lovely Day Chapel in the woods, are available for rental.

Oconee County

Bogart Sports Complex

200 S. Burson Ave., Bogart • 706-769-3965

Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.

This 33-acre park behind the Bogart Library has lighted ballfields, multipurpose fields, a picnic pavilion, a playground and a half-mile paved walking trail.

Harris Shoals Park

Harris Shoals Drive, Watkinsville • 706-769-5161

Hours: 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

This small park has picnic tables, walking trails, horseshoes, shoals and a baseball field. There are also three pavilions available to rent for gatherings and events.

Heritage Park

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

Hours: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

The 364-acre park bordering the Apalachee River boasts miles of hiking, biking and horse-riding trails as well as an open-air arena that hosts special events.

Herman C. Michael Park

1051 Elder Road, Bishop • 706-769-3965

Hours: Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

This 37-acre park has lighted courts and fields, a gymnasium, a playground, a free disc golf course and a 1.25-mile paved walking trail.

Oconee Veterans Park

3500A Hog Mountain Road, Watkinsville • 706-769-3965

Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.

This 197-acre park contains walking trails, tennis courts and multipurpose fields outside and a community center with a gym and track inside.

City of Winterville

Pittard Park and Pavilion

Parkview and Church streets • 706-742-8600 •

Hours: sunrise–sunset

This park has a pavilion, playgrounds and metal art by Beverly Babb. It hosts the Winterville Marigold Festival every spring. When renting the pavilion for events, hours of operation are April–Dec., 8 a.m.–10 p.m.

State of Georgia

Fort Yargo State Park

210 S. Broad St., Winder • 770-867-3489 •

Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

The park surrounds a lake for swimming, fishing and boating. It features a 1792 log fort and campsites, including yurts and cabins. Five-dollar parking with annual passes is available for purchase. Some social distancing measures may still apply when visiting.

Watson Mill Bridge State Park

650 Watson Mill Road, Comer • 706-783-5349 •

Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

This picturesque park a short drive from Athens contains the longest covered bridge in the state, as well as log cabins, campsites, horse-riding trails and a river perfect for wading. Five-dollar parking with annual passes is available for purchase. Some social distancing measures may still apply when visiting.