Atlanta has dozens of hidden gems right inside the city that many may have had no idea of their existence. Often times, these spots get put on the back burner or never even heard about due to the draw of the larger, more touristy attractions. This secret nature preserve in Atlanta is one such local treasure — it'll take you to another world and make you forget you're in the city, at least for a little while.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve is in the urban area of Atlanta and sits on 30-acres with the goal of conserving, educating, researching, and advocating for a personal experience with nature for its visitors.
Aside from becoming one with nature, there's always some type of arts installation at the park as well.
The art walk's trail and boardwalks will wind you through the preserve's lush landscape with creations dotting the way. There's usually an indoor gallery you can explore as well, but it's temporarily closed for the time being.
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Blue Heron also offers grab n' go nature activity bags that'll give you all the resources and materials you need to go on a self-guided outdoor adventure. The add-ons can be especially engaging if you happen to have children, with themes including mud, light, air, and night hike.
This spot has been a land conservation project since 2000 and they've added so many activities for visitors over the years. You can explore the meadows, wetlands, riparian, and the woodlands while you're here.
Within these four habitats, you'll find a community garden, a field research center, a turtle sanctuary, beaver dam analogs, bee apiaries, and a butterfly sanctuary.
The installation that's at the park now is called, "Art of Nature: Interconnected", featuring a variety of works.
You'll see "Gazing at Fungi," which are colorfully painted umbrellas that mimic mushrooms. There's also technicolor "moss" around trees, a vintage mailbox you can place your letter to Mother Earth in, and "singing mushrooms" that are ceramic wind bells made to look like mushrooms.
See if you can spot each of these art pieces throughout your hike at the preserve.
The park is open from dawn until dusk, which gives you plenty of time to explore, grab a nature bag, and take a hike on the 3-mile trail of art and natural beauty.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve
Address: 4055 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, GA
Why You Need To Go: You can take a break from reality for a few hours at this preserve and completely immerse yourself in nature.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.