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 complimented 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 all enjoy.
Amerson River Park features a handicap accessible playground where all children, regardless of physical ability, can enjoy swings, slides, and other playground equipment. The Bibb County Medical Society and the Junior League of Macon built the playground.
- Atlanta Gas Light Pavilion
The Atlanta Gas Light Pavilion, next to the playground, has 12 picnic tables that can be rented for events such as birthday parties, family reunions, and corporate picnics.
- Porter Pavilion
The Porter Pavilion—named in honor of the late Ben G. Porter, one of the founders and original planners for the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail—is a permanent tent-like structure that offers a quiet setting overlooking the Ocmulgee River. The Porter Pavilion is a great venue for wedding receptions, concerts, or other special events.
- Jay Hall Memorial Canoe and Tube Launch
One of the most popular areas of the park is the canoe and tube launch at the northern end. Visitors can launch canoes, tubes and kayaks at the northern end of the park then float to Bragg Jam Canoe Take Out or Spring Street Boat Ramp.
- Bragg Jam Canoe and Tube Take Out
Guests can take off from the Jay Hall Memorial Canoe and Tube Launch and float for about one mile to the Bragg Jam Take-Out. Parking is an easy walk to both the entry and exit points. For a shorter trip, floaters may launch at Bragg Jam Canoe Take Out and exit at Spring Street Boat Ramp.
Overlook deck and picnic shelters from the high bluff overlooking the Ocmulgee River at Amerson River Park.
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 Spring Park
This neighborhood park was honorably 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, magnificent stone 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 old-fashioned 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 songs. A statue of his likeness is placed in Gateway Park where he is “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
Ocmulgee National Monument
The Ocmulgee National Monument is a memorial to the relationship of people and natural resources. Part of the National Park Service, the Ocmulgee National Monument records 17,000 years of continuous human habitation in Central Georgia.
Central City Park
Home to Macon’s historic Luther Williams Field, the heart of Cherry Blossom Festival events, Central City Park was Macon’s first public park. Still Macon’s largest park, stretching along the levee at the southernmost end of Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, the level terrain makes Central City Park ideal for hosting tournaments, festivals and special events. The beautiful natural setting features playground areas for children, picnic areas large enough to accommodate group outings, and a gazebo for perfect “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 location along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, a primary “gateway” to historic downtown Macon, 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 quiet pergola, benches, and power. 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.
The Ocmulgee Heritage Trail has a presence at Riverside Cemetery! 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.