Amerson River Park
Amerson River Park contains 180 acres of pristine forests, meadows, and wetlands surrounded by a river oxbow. However, Amerson River Park is more than just a beautiful place to admire nature. The park’s natural beauty is complemented by a state-of-the-art playground, a canoe launch and takeout, miles of trail, and pavilions overlooking the river. The park offers exciting amenities that appeal to families, adventurous outdoorsmen, and nature lovers to enjoy.
Formerly the Macon Water Authority’s water treatment plant, the facility was destroyed in the flood of 1994. Under the leadership of the late Mr. Frank Amerson as Chairman of Macon Water Authority, the water treatment plant was relocated, and the former property was donated to create a public park for passive recreational opportunities. Amerson River Park is named to honor Mr. Amerson’s legacy of leadership at the Water Authority.
Jackson Springs Park
This neighborhood park was named after General Andrew Jackson, as he was known to often camp in this area with his fellow troops, the Tennessee Volunteers.
A nature lover’s paradise, this park is filled with majestic stone bridges and benches, a mossy brook, and beautiful perennials and evergreens. Shirley Hills’ residents may also plant trees in memorial of loved ones in the park.
The months of January and February are a great time to catch the camellias in bloom underneath the hundred-year-old hardwood trees.
Dr. William G. Lee Camellia Gardens
The late Dr. William G. Lee was a founder of the American Camellia Society in the 1930s and his estate in Shirley Hills boasted numerous, beautiful camellia plants. The City of Macon acquired the land in 2008 and began restoring the property for a public park. The Gardens feature over 200 varieties of camellias, including many rare plants. The public can access the William G. Lee Camellia Gardens through Jackson Springs Park and through Glenridge Drive. Open to the public, this is a great outdoor retreat for your pet or a place to have a relaxing picnic lunch.
Spring Street Park
Spring Street Landing is often thought of as where the Trail begins. Right off of the Spring Street Bridge, just before you get to the interstate ramp, Spring Street Landing is on your right. Here you will find a playground, public art, and a boat ramp where canoes, kayaks, and tubes can take out. This is the southernmost public take-out before you reach Hawkinsville.
Otis Redding Memorial Bridge
Otis Redding Memorial Bridge, which connects Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Coliseum Drive, was named in memory of The King of Soul™ who changed the face of music with his song writing and vocals. A statue of his likeness is placed in Gateway Park where he is “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
Part of the National Park Service, the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park interprets over 17,000 years of continuous human habitation in Central Georgia. Visitors can explore ceremonial mounds from the Mississippian Period and enjoy an incredible view of downtown Macon from the top of the Great Temple Mound. The park has an extensive trail system and is connected to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail via the Mike Ford Trail.
Carolyn Crayton Park
Formerly known as Central City Park, Carolyn Crayton Park is Macon’s largest and oldest public park. Home to Macon’s historic Luther Williams Field and the heart of Cherry Blossom Festival, the level terrain makes Carolyn Crayton Park ideal for hosting tournaments, festivals, and special events. The park stretches along the levee at the southernmost end of Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. The beautiful natural setting features playground areas for children, picnic areas large enough to accommodate group outings, and a gazebo perfect for Instagram-worthy photo ops.
Charles H. Jones Gateway Park
Charles H. Jones Gateway Park is at the corner of Riverside Dr. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd on the site of the former Washburn Moving and Storage facility. Initially referred to as Gateway Park because of its prominent location along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, the park was renamed for the late philanthropist and local businessman, Charles H. Jones.
Completed in 2005 to commemorate Rotary International’s Centennial, Rotary Park contains a beautiful, formal fountain, a serene pergola, benches, and power for special events. It is a wonderful venue for many events including wedding ceremonies, receptions, or special announcements. The park is located on Riverside Drive, near First Street.
Starting at the historic Gate House, located on the corner of Riverside Drive and Madison Street, the Trail continues along Riverside Drive and ends with a scenic boardwalk over the Vineville Branch stream.