Wildlife is one of Atlanta’s biggest draws. Our state’s rich and diverse variety of plants and animals is more than just fascinating. It is part of what makes our state what it is.
More and more, we are seeing animals out in the open: in our neighborhoods, by our schools, even in our backyards.
At first this seems really cool, because, hey, you get to see all of the wonderful native animals of Georgia without going to the zoo, but these sightings are anything but good. Seeing animals in and around the city means that they are being forced out of their safe natural habitats and into the exposed open, around cars and people, who could accidently hurt them.
With their original homes destroyed, most animals turn to some of the only natural places left in the urban areas of our beautiful state: parks.
One of these parks is Murphey Candler Park. Open from dawn until dusk, local residents have reported sighting deer, ducks, geese, beavers, skunks, coyotes, fox, frogs, toads, raccoons, rabbits, possums, chipmunks, squirrels, bats, turtles, snakes, herons, and much more.
You do not have to look hard to see some of these animals, either. Because of the large lake in the park, you can almost always see ducks, geese and turtles. In the evening, near summer, you can see bats swooping down for bugs over the lake. Early in the morning (just as the park opens) it is likely that you will see deer, fox, beavers or even a coyote.
Don’t fear: the animals in this area will leave you alone as long as you do not bother them, and seeing them in their natural habitat can be breathtaking.
You are more likely to see animals, and some indigenous foliage, if you walk/ run the trail around the lake. It is not a difficult run and makes for a great walk with your family or friends. The park is not a dog park, but dogs on leashes are more than welcome, and you will find a lot there.
The park also boasts two well-maintained tennis courts, 5 playgrounds, a large field, multiple covered picnic areas (with grills available), benches, doggie pickup bags and cans, docks for motor-less boats (such as kayaks and canoes) and a scenic pier.
One of the best aspects of this park is how few people are aware of it. Oftentimes you get to know the regulars and hardly ever have to wait for anything, such as courts or picnic areas. On a summer day, if you get hot, you can stop by the public pool, just around the corner, and go for a swim for just a few dollars. And if you find yourself alone in the park, and you sit just still and quiet enough, you are practically sure to see some marvelous animals.
Overall, Murphey Candler Park is a beautiful, peaceful place that can also be exciting and fun. With a large number of different animals and plants, the park is a guaranteed way for you to become involved in your local wildlife. Plus, the park includes various ways for you to get exercise, and also ways to just pass the time.
Grab some burgers and go grill. Take a nature walk with your friends. Rent kayaks and learn a new skill. Play tennis. Witness all of the beauty this state still has to offer.
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OnAir says: The whole point of saving the earth is so we’ll be able to savor it in places like this! Have you got a favorite nature-haunt in your town? Tell us about it in the comments!