Description: Less than a one-hour drive from downtown Atlanta, the Wildlife Resources Division headquarters offers wildlife enthusiasts a wide array of wildlife viewing opportunities. The area boasts a one-mile-long environmental education trail that features numbered stations with information on a variety of wildlife-related topics, including birds of the forest, frog ponds, and wetlands. The loop trail is self-guided and a free brochure is available at the office or in the kiosk at the trailhead. This brochure includes a map and additional interpretive information for people walking the trail. This site also features a wildlife nest box exhibit, demonstrating nest boxes suitable for many species of Georgia's backyard wildlife. Adjacent to the office complex is the Division's Walton County Fish Hatchery. The hatchery facility supplies game fish for stocking in Georgia's lakes and ponds. The hatchery is an excellent place to watch for a variety of wading birds and songbirds, as well as other wildlife.
Viewing Information: White-tailed deer are abundant in the upland forests at the site. Wild turkeys are also present, but catching a glimpse of them is a rare occurrence. Two small streams and several abandoned man-made hatchery ponds provide outstanding viewing opportunities. At these sites look for great blue herons, green herons, egrets, Canada geese, otters, raccoons, muskrats, red-winged blackbirds, and yellow-rumped warblers. Reptiles and amphibians of the wet area include bullfrogs, green frogs, box turtles, brown water snakes and two-lined salamanders. A variety of woodpeckers can be easily observed from the trail, including the pileated, red-headed, red-bellied, hairy and downy woodpeckers. Listen for red-tailed hawks during the day and great horned owls very early in the morning. Many songbirds and butterflies can be seen along the trail and in the outstanding gardens of native plants surrounding the headquarters building. These native gardens contain a number of rare plant species and an excellent exhibit of carnivorous pitcherplants. Easy access to the headquarters site makes it a popular stop for wildlife viewers. This is one of the most attractive wildlife agency offices in the nation.
Directions: From Atlanta, travel Interstate 20 east apx. 40 miles to exit 48 (US Hwy. 278). Turn left (north) and travel 1.7 miles to the headquarters sign on the right. Walton County Fish Hatchery is located across the road.
Management: Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division, 770-918-6400
Closest Town: Social Circle, GA
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