Albany has plenty to offer to its visitors. One of the attractions worth exploring is Chehaw Park, ideal for those looking to be outdoors and in the peace of nature.
The park was founded in 1937 and donated to the state of Georgia by property owners Dougherty and Lee Counties. At the time, it comprised an area of 586 acres. It was named Chehaw after the Creek Indians tribe known as Chiha.
Today it has extended to 800 acres, featuring its own Zoo as well as different recreational activities for all the tastes and ages.
The Wild Animal Park, known nowadays as the Zoo, was designed by well-known naturalist Jim Fowler who was the TV host of the Wild Kingdom show. It opened in 1997.
You will find about 238 animals representing 125 species such as cheetahs, black rhinos, black bears, lemurs, plain zebras, Black and White colobus monkeys and, curly hair tarantulas – these come from tropical areas such as Honduras and Costa Rica.
The boardwalks in the cypress swamps are a great place to take a walk and observe the alligators in their natural habitat, as well as the unique root structure of these water-loving trees. In the weekends you can feed the dozens of alligators living there.
When visiting the zoo, check out the animal nursing area or attend one of the talks hosted by the zookeepers. They will inform you all you need to know about the different species that live in the Chehaw Zoo.
Explore the nature trails and take advantage of the picnic facilities. If you are traveling with children make sure you stop by the farm where they can see miniature horses, pigs, goats, and, alpacas. Also, the park has one of Georgia's largest playgrounds for a whole day of entertainment. There is a train called Wiregrass Express which goes for a 20-minute ride around the pine restoration area.
In the months from March to November, the African Veldt takes visitors into a safari ride. In this area antelopes, ostriches, impalas, and wildebeest are some of the animals running free in the wild that you will be able to observe.
Elsewhere, enjoy the 18-hole disc golf course and the bicycle motocross (BMX) bike track. Make sure to stop by Savannah Café for a coffee break.
Keep in mind
The park is opened from 8 to 6 daily. However, the zoo opens only from 12 to 4 during the weekdays and from 9:30 to 4:30 in the weekends.
Tickets can be bought just for the park or for both the park and the zoo.
If you want to fish, fishing is free with the park admission. There is a boat ramp that facilitates the entry of the lake.
Remember to bring comfy shoes and anti-insect spray.