Dauset Trails Nature Center – Jackson, Georgia

We are currently on a month-long road trip and our first official stop was Forsyth, Georgia, to visit Anthony’s family. While we were there we went to Dauset Trails Nature Center in Jackson. I had never heard of it before we went so I was just looking forward to getting some good walking in, but we enjoyed our visit so much I could hardly wait to tell you (my readers) all about it. When your road trips bring you to Georgia, try to stop by if you can. It’s free! 

Dauset Trails Sign

There was hardly anyone else there when we visited on that May Monday afternoon, but the schools still hadn’t let out for the summer. The admission is free, and it can get crowded in the summer and on weekends. We just happened to be there at a really good time, and the weather was nice too because the heat of summer hasn’t hit yet. After a nice picnic by the lake, we went to look at the exhibits and enjoy the beauty of the property.

Geese and Turtles

During our picnic there were some geese in the water nearby, close to the shore. You can tell they are used to being around a lot of people because six kids were running around everywhere yet the geese just floated along like there was no one else around.


We walked across a small bridge that leads to the animal exhibits. The kids had fun feeding the turtles in the water (there were food pellet dispensers around for that purpose), but fish kept jumping up and stealing the food when the turtles weren’t quick enough.



I was one of the last ones left on the bridge, so when I approached our group they were standing in front of a tall cage. I could hear a hissing sound coming from inside the cage, so I went over to look. That’s when I saw this guy.

great horned owl

This is a great horned owl, and he wasn’t happy to see us. He and his roommate (and every other caged animal) have been rescued and rehabilitated and can no longer survive in the wild. 

We love animals and it was good to see that they all are under excellent care. You really couldn’t ask for more, when a return to the wild would mean certain death for them. In addition to the great horned owls, we also saw barn owls and barred owls.

Barn Owl

barred owl

General Lee

General Beauregard Lee is a groundhog that is a bit of a Georgia icon and Dauset Trails is his home. There is even a Groundhog Day celebration each February (this year, I am told, General Lee saw his shadow). We didn’t get to see him, unfortunately, but his house is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I hope if you stop by Dauset Trails for a visit General Lee will make an appearance for you. I tried to tell him we drove 900 miles to see him but even that couldn’t make him leave his comfy bachelor pad. 

groundhog house

General Lee groundhog plaque


I had never seen a beaver before in person until we came upon this little dude having his lunch. He was a lot cuter than the ones I’ve seen on TV. He also doesn’t have to work as hard so he has time to sit around looking cute and getting free food. Keep enjoying the good life, Mr. Beaver! 

beaver eating vegetables

Other Animals

The other animals we saw included a bald eagle, a red tailed hawk, deer, turkeys, bison, coyotes, two bob cats (who stunk really bad) and a skunk who didn’t stink at all but hid in a tunnel the whole time. 


Red Tailed Hawk


My favorite part of our visit was a 19th century working farm. There was literally no one else there but our group, so it looked like a Little House on the Prairie type ghost town. I know that other times there is a lot of activity and people so it could be a lot different experience next time! 

I spent part of my childhood on a farm, so that setting just calls to me, even after many years of living in the city. I could have pitched a tent and stayed awhile if they had let me (just not near the pig pen). 

One thing I don’t think they had in the 19th century were cute little plastic slides for their goats to play on. 

goat on a slide

Katie in front of the general store, pretending to be asleep. 

More pictures from the farm






The best part of our time at Dauset Trails was time spent with family. Here’s Joshua and Katie with their cousins. 


Have you been to Dauset Trails or another place like it? What do you think of the work being done to save our wildlife? Share your comments with us below. 


Barbra Jones


  1. Hello Barbra, 

    well, I’m a travel blogger myself, and I really liked your website! 

    I’m very interested in road trips with the summer coming, I’m much into wildlife, and I’ve not been to Georgia before. I am inspired by your pictures of the many different animals one can see there: owls, beavers, geese and turtles and much more! So I’ve been thinking that the Dauset Trails would be a good destination for us, I didn’t know about it.  

    Maybe a couple of quick questions about the logistics. Looks like a dirt road… is there much distance to do on dirt roads? What about conveniences in the area, like food, gas and lodging? 

    thanks so much, and all the best enjoyment to you and your family on your road trips!


    • The parking lot was right off a paved road, then we walked everywhere else. We stayed with family but there are plenty of hotels in Jackson and Forsyth. We were advised that the gas prices are better a little bit further south. There was nowhere to buy food at Dauset Trails (we brought a picnic lunch) but there are some restaurants and fast food places in the area. Thanks for your comment. 

  2. I’ve never been to such a long road trip but it is something that I always wanted to do. Being an introvert, I love to visit these kinds of places. It gives me a real sense of peace. 

    And when did Goat started sliding! The picture was really funny.

    You have a lovely family Barbra. Enjoy the trip!

    • I’m an introvert too and I totally agree. These kinds of places give me a lot of peace too. My husband took the picture of the goat. We thought it was so funny when we came upon that. It never did slide down while we were standing there. Maybe he was waiting for us to leave. lol Thanks for your comment! 

  3. I really enjoyed all the pictures and commentary on the Dauset Trails.

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