Dauset Trails Nature Center entrance sign
Dauset Trails Nature Center entrance sign

Dauset Trails is a private, non-profit nature center located at Jackson, Ga. A wildlife refuge with animal exhibits open to the public as well as a picnic area with charcoal grills and a playground. Biking and hiking trails, horseback riding trails, barnyard animals and a blacksmith shop. There is tent camping for groups only with reservations.

Enjoy exploring and snapping photos for your Instagram. There are plenty to snap of the ponds, creeks, wildlife, wildflowers and wooded trails.

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Day Trip To Dauset Trails

It’s about a 2 hour excursion if you are only visiting the animal trails so a nice day trip. More Day trip ideas are listed at the end of this article.

Flowers the woods and a pond at Dauset Trails in Jackson, Ga.

The mission at Dauset Trails is to provide quality environmental, education, outdoor recreation, and an understanding of early farm life through close and intimate contact with Georgia’s preserved Flora and Fauna.

Where do the animals come from?

According to their site, all of the animals are “non-releasable and have either been injured or orphaned and were transferred from the GA DNR, Yellow River Game Ranch, Cochran Mill Nature Center, and the Audubon Society.”

What does it cost?

Entry is free however donations are accepted at the Visitors Center.

Bridge at Dauset Trails surrounded by water and woods

Entering into the trails from the parking lot, you will cross this beautiful wooden bridge over the lake. You can stop and feed the fish and turtles along the way. They are expecting you to toss them some food.

Bring some quarters to buy food from those little dispensers. You might want to also pack some hand wipes.

A few of the turtles we saw were waiting to be fed. You can see some of the smaller fish in this video also. We actually saw some really huge fish and turtles on our most recent visit.

Animal Trails entrance

It is a very pleasant outdoor adventure where you get to enjoy nature.

People looking at animals at Dauset Trails

Stop along the way on the paved nature trails to see the animals. Lots of birds of prey as well as native mammals.

We saw the Bison on our last visit and lots of wild turkeys. The Black Bear was sleeping and didn’t wish to be bothered. The Hyena however were being very loud.

Home of the Groundhog of Georgia
Home of the official Groundhog of Georgia

General Beauregard Lese resides in this palace on the nature trail. Maybe he will even be out in his huge yard and say Hi to you. He is the official groundhog of Georgia and predicts the end of winter every year in early February.

Bison at Dauset Trails
Bison photo courtesy of Dauset Trails

We have never seen the Bison up quite this close but we do always get to see him when we visit. His habitat is also occupied by wild turkeys. There is a shelter with seating and a roof facing this field so sit a spell, rest and enjoy the view.

Wild turkeys at Dauset Trails
Wild turkeys

Wild turkey and big ugly buzzards roost in the field where the Bison roams.

Oh yes, there are Reptiles too. Not my personal favorite. I never go up to the cages and look inside. The Wonder Room with the reptiles is in the same building as the Visitors Center.

Wear your walking shoes. Dress comfortable for the season.

Nearby you will also find:

High Falls State Park

Whistle Stop Café where the fabulous movie Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed is about a 25 minute drive

The famous, Buckner’s Family Restaurant is about a 20 minute drive right off I-75

3 Dauset Trails Daytrip Ideas

  1. Pack a picnic and visit Dauset Trails. When you leave Dauset, head over to High Falls State Park and spend the rest of the afternoon dipping your toes in the water and enjoying nature.
  2. Visit Dauset Trails. If you only visit the animals, you will be done in around 2 hours. Leave there and drive up to Buckner’s for dinner. It’s quite the treat to eat at their Lazy Susan tables.
  3. Visit Dauset Trails in the morning and head up to Juliette to Whistle Stop. There is usually a waiting list so get your name on it and tour the shops and see the sights while you wait.

Take a day trip to Dauset Trails at Jackson, Ga. between Atlanta and Macon. It’s a Nature preserve with animal exhibits as well as hiking and biking trails, lakes, creeks and lots of nature to explore.

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