The Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta is a lush hidden gem with an artistic trail
Atlanta has dozens of hidden gems inside the city that many may not have known existed. Often times, these places are put on the back burner or never even heard of them due to the allure of larger and more touristy attractions. This secret Atlanta nature reserve is one of those local treasures – it’ll take you to another world and make you forget you’re in town, at least for a little while.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve is located in the Atlanta urban area and spans 30 acres with the goal of conserving, educating, researching, and advocating for a personal experience of nature for its visitors.
In addition to being at one with nature, there is always some kind of artistic installation in the park.
The path and the walks of the artistic walk will take you through the lush landscape of the reserve with creations dotting the path. There is usually an indoor gallery that you can explore as well, but it is temporarily closed at the moment.
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Blue Heron also offers on-the-go nature activity bags that will give you all the resources and gear you need to go on an outdoor adventure without a guide. Add-ons can be especially great if you have kids, with themes like mud, light, air, and night hiking.
This place has been a land conservation project since 2000 and they have added so many activities for visitors over the years. You can explore grasslands, wetlands, riparian areas, and woods while you are here.
Within these four habitats, you’ll find a community garden, field research center, turtle sanctuary, beaver dam analogues, bee apiaries, and a butterfly sanctuary.
The installation now in the park is called “Art of Nature: Interconnected”, with a variety of works.
You will see “Gazing at Fungi”, which are colorful umbrellas that mimic mushrooms. There is also technicolor “moss” around the trees, a vintage letterbox you can place your letter to Mother Earth in, and “singing mushrooms” which are ceramic wind bells made to look like mushrooms. .
See if you can spot each of these works of art as you hike the reserve.
The park is open from dawn to dusk, giving you plenty of time to explore, grab a nature bag, and hike the 5 km Art and Natural Beauty Trail.
Blue heron nature reserve
Address: 4055 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia
Why you need to go: You can get away from reality for a few hours in this reserve and completely immerse yourself in nature.
Before you go, check out our responsible travel guide to be informed, be safe, be smart and most of all, be respectful during your trip.