Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Visit Phinizy Swamp Nature Park - 1100 acres just minutes from Augusta. See the blue heron, red-shouldered hawk, otter, alligator and the elusive bobcat wildlife viewing in their natural settings. Stay and Play in Georgia!
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Hike and Bike Trails - Many are wheelchair accessible
Beaver Dam Trail is a .5 mile dirt trail in length. Great trail for hiking and mountain biking. The first half of this wooded trail overlooks an active beaver pond, a small meadow, a lake, and a swamp. After crossing the Bridge Through the Woods, the trail follows Butler Creek, taking the visitor through a mixed deciduous pine forest. Wild turkeys and deer frequent the area, and one may see an occasional beaver or river otter. A bench marks the spot where man-made Phinizy Ditch joins Butler Creek. Just past the bench, the trail splits into a blue trail and a green trail, both ending at the same location. The blue trail tends to be drier than the green trail. This trail is wheelchair and mountain bike accessible.
Butler Creek Trail - This .25-mile dirt hiking trail has a beautiful view over the floodplain of Butler Creek from a high ridge, and it meanders through a deciduous upland forest as well as a small pine forest. Don't miss this trail for an intriguing surprise!
Cattail Trail - This short .1-mile hiking loop is the entry point to the Floodplain Boardwalk and Observation Deck. It is a dirt trail. Significant sights along the trail include a stand of native cane, cypress knees, and numerous vines and wildflowers. This trail is wheelchair accessible.
Constructed Wetlands Trail - This is a 1-mile hiking and mountain biking gravel trail. Exit the canopy of the forest and enter the openness of man-made marshes used by the city of Augusta to provide a third step in wastewater treatment. Construction on these wetlands began in 1997, and they have since become a favorite area for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh and wading birds, and birds of prey. Wheelchair accessible and mountain bike accessible
Pond Trail - This dirt trail is 0.8 miles in length. Pond Trail is for hiking and mountain biking. This sunny loop takes the visitor around the Equalization Pond that holds treated wastewater before it enters the constructed wetlands. The trail is on a raised berm around the pond, allowing a higher view of the surrounding swamp and pine and deciduous forest. An occasional grebe or cormorant may be seen in the pond. Pond Trail is wheelchair accessible and mountain bike accessible.
River Scar Trail - This 1.1 mile Graveled Trail is for hiking and mountain biking. Meander around one of the constructed wetland cells that borders a beautiful river scar featuring a cypress-tupelo swamp. This trail leads to a deck overlooking the ancient scar. You'll be amazed by the stillness and beauty of this area!River Scar Trail Guide. Wheelchair accessible and mountain bike accessible
Boardwalks - Observation Decks - Bridges & Pavilion
Beaver Pond Boardwalk and Observation Deck- It is a 50 foot wooden boardwalk with covered observation deck. A favorite of Nature Park visitors, this deck offers a tranquil setting for viewing wildlife, having a quiet lunch, or simply meditating. Overlooking an oxbow lake (where the Savannah River once flowed), one can see the activities of turtles and wading birds, and enjoy the rustling of cattails and other marsh plants. Also keep an ear open for the calls of one of our resident Barred Owls. It is wheelchair accessible.
Bridge Through the Woods - This steel and wooden bridge is 25 feet in length. It spans Butler Creek and provides occasional views of turtle and river otters, and is also a great location for listening to songbirds. This bridge links the front and back halves of the Beaver Dam Trail.
Floodplain Boardwalk and Observation Deck - It is a .1 mile wooden boardwalk with a covered observation deck at the end. This boardwalk and deck are a wonderful introduction to the beauty of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Overlooking the floodplain of Butler Creek, the boardwalk and deck provide an excellent spot to see many types of birds, including wading birds (such as the Great Egret), woodpeckers, blackbirds, warblers, and hawks. Also look for the trails through the marsh plants made by beaver, river otter and muskrat. It is wheelchair accessible.
Phinizy Swamp
Floodplain Boardwalk Extension - This breathtaking Floodplain Boardwalk extension leads to the Phinizy Swamp Campus and enables visitors to literally walk across the swamp. It is wheelchair accessible.
Pfizer Pavilion - The Pfizer Pavilion is a covered picnic area that can be enjoyed by all Nature Park visitors. The structure has electricity and nine, eight-foot tables with seating for 60 to 70 people. The Pavilion may be reserved for a donation of $100 with a $50 refundable deposit. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis and are subject to availability. Please call the Academy office at 706-828-2109 for information on reserving the pavilion. Funds provided by Pfizer.
Pond Trail - This dirt trail is 0.8 miles in length. Pond Trail is for hiking and mountain biking. This sunny loop takes the visitor around the Equalization Pond that holds treated wastewater before it enters the constructed wetlands. The trail is on a raised berm around the pond, allowing a higher view of the surrounding swamp and pine and deciduous forest. An occasional grebe or cormorant may be seen in the pond. Pond Trail is wheelchair accessible and mountain bike accessible.
Rain Garden Deck - Wooden boardwalk. This deck overlooks the newly emerging Phinizy Swamp Rain Garden, a living laboratory for students to safely explore swamp ecology. Wheelchair accessible
School Bus Bridge - This concrete bridge is 100 feet in length. Spend some quiet time here and you are bound to see something exciting! Visitors have been rewarded with views of water moccasins, turtles, animal tracks, muskrats, otters, and even beavers (in the evenings). This is also another great spot for birding. It is Wheelchair accessible and mountain bike accessible.
Park Species
Bird Watching
Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, along with the Phinizy Swamp Wildlife Management Area, has been designated an "Important Bird Area" by the Audubon Society. This designation was the result of years of careful bird censuses by both state and wildlife departments and local Audubon members documenting the high diversity of birds in this area. On any given day at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, birders are sure to catch glimpses of an astonishing array of song birds, wading birds, birds of prey, waterfowl, and many other types of birds -- making the Nature Park the perfect place for birding enthusiasts to wander! The Nature Park also offers occasional bird walks so novice birders can join the fun.
Plant Watching
Botanical diversity at the Nature Park rivals that of our bird diversity! The Nature Park encompasses a wide variety of habitats, ensuring sightings of everything from stately cypress and oaks, to colorful wildflowers, to epiphytes, to our many wetland species. We are in the first stages of assessing and recording the plant diversity at the Nature Park, so the list below is currently under revision. If you have any additions or corrections to the list (particularly in the non-vascular category), we would be happy to hear from you!
Other Species
Birds and plants are certainly not the only wildlife the Nature Park has to offer, although they are the species you are most likely to see! There are elusive invertebrates, fish, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals that provide fascinating encounters for the patient (and quiet) visitor. Our current list contains only those species that Nature Park staff and volunteers have positively confirmed over the last few years, and no fish are included (yet).
Phinizy Swamp Wildlife
Phinizy Swamp Visitor Center
This charming facility is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Academy offices at 706-828-2109. The Visitor Center boasts a breathtaking view of the swamp via a towering wall of windows, and is the place to go to purchase Nature Park merchandise or find answers to your questions. Ultimately, the Visitor Center will house several small exhibits.
Phinizy Swamp Campus
The complex includes a 3,200 square foot K-12 education building with classroom, laboratory, restrooms, and office space; a 2,000 square foot research facility, to focus on aquatic and ecology-based research projects; a 2,240 square foot administration facility to accommodate Academy President, Vice President, administrative staff, and conference room needs; and a 700 square foot visitor center, to accommodate visitor needs. These new facilities enable the Academy to expand its current education and research programs and, ultimately, will provide opportunities for innovative collaborations. The new Phinizy Swamp campus is accessible to school buses and private vehicles via the School Bus Bridge during Academy events, and via the Floodplain Boardwalk during those and all other times.
Just for Kids
Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy offers clubs, field trips, and events specifically designed for kids of various ages. These programs have educationas their goal, but with kids in mind, they are always fun!

The Cattail Kids Club is for students in kindergarten through second grade. The Gator Gang is for third to fifth grade students. Our middle school Ecology Club is for sixth through eigth grade students.

The Creek Freaks Club is eighth grade through 12th grade school students. Other activities just for youth include Girl and Boy Scout field trips, children's summer Eco-Camps, and special yearly kids-only events. We know you will find many things for your children to do at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park!
What every Phinizy Swamp Nature Park Visitor should know
BulletAll plant and animal life is protected in the Nature Park; please do not touch, remove, or molest these natural resources. For your own protection, do not feed any of the Nature Park’s wildlife.
BulletThe following are prohibited: motorized vehicles, hunting, fishing, littering, smoking, alcoholic beverages, fires, firearms, and firecrackers.
BulletYour leashed pets are welcome, but we ask that you clean up after them.
BulletPlease do not sit or stand on the railings and fences of the bridges and boardwalks.
BulletActivity in a natural ecosystem such as Phinizy Swamp involves risks that cannot be eliminated by Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy.
Hours of Operation
Open to the Public Dawn to dusk everyday.
General Info
Phinizy Swamp is free to visit. However, groups of 10 or more individuals desiring a tour must schedule visits in advance by calling 706-828-2109 and will be charged a fee.

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park is developed and operated by Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The Academy's mission is to promote environmental stewardship through education, research, public outreach and conservation. These programs support the Academy's goal to promote sustainable natural resource management-economic growth balanced with environmental protection.
Contact - Address - Directions & Website
Phone: 706-828-2109 - Address: Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, 1858 Lock & Dam Rd, Augusta GA - Directions: Directions to Phinizy Swamp Nature Park from Atlanta at I-20: Take exit 196A, Bobby Jones Expressway. Take Bobby Jones Expressway to exit 10 (Doug Barnard Parkway/Bush Field Airport). Turn right, toward airport. Travel just under 1 mile until you see the Wastewater Treatment Plant on your left. Turn left just past the Plant onto Lock & Dam Road. Travel just under ½ mile until you see a small house on the left. Just past the house, look for the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park entrance sign on your left. Turn left, drive 200 feet, parking area on left. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park Website


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