Middle Georgia is full of beautiful outdoor parks and recreational areas. One of my favorites is the lovely Amerson River Park, featuring stunning forests and meadows. This park offers an excellent outing for the family with fun activities such as canoeing, walking, or playing on the playground.
Located at 2551 North Pierce Drive, Amerson River Park wasn’t always a beautiful river park! Amerson River Park was previously the site of the Macon Water Authority’s water treatment plant, which a large flood destroyed in 1994.
After the flood, the chairman of Macon Water Authority, Frank Amerson, decided to donate the property to create a public park and relocate the water treatment facility. The recreational park was named after Mr. Amerson to celebrate his legacy of leadership and generosity. Without him, we wouldn’t have this beautiful river park to enjoy!
Activities for the Whole Family
Amerson River Park sits on 180 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands surrounded by the Ocmulgee River. There are multiple river outlets and river overlooks to access and view the beautiful water and explore the riverbanks.
The park features seven miles of accessible trails perfect for walking, jogging, or biking. This also includes a few off-trail paths that can lead you to new adventures, like the unpaved path to the pond and through the river floodway.
The Ocmulgee River is perfect for canoeing, kayaking, or even floating! You’ll be able to find the easily accessible Jay Hall Memorial Canoe Launch at the North end of the park, where you can float or boat for two miles downriver to reach the Bragg Jam Canoe and Tube Takeout.
During dryer periods, the river’s sandy beaches are perfect for hangouts or a break in your water excursions. The Great Lawn is great for land activities and features a large clearing that provides the ideal spot for kite flying, picnicking, and more.
The Amerson River Park also provides quite a few covered areas and pavilions that are great for:
- parties, or
- just a rest stop.
Two pavilions, Porter Pavilion and the Atlanta Gas Light Picnic Pavilion, are available for rent for special events.
One of the covered pavilions sits right next to the state-of-the-art playground, which is another fantastic amenity Amerson River Park offers. This playground is wonderfully disability-accessible, with ADA swings, slides, and more, including a wheelchair ramp leading right up to one of the playground platforms.
The Revitalization of Amerson River Park
Amerson River Park is part of an initiative to revitalize downtown Macon called the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. The idea for the Trail began in the early 1990s as downtown Macon was in dire straits. Founding president of the Peyton Anderson Foundation, Juanita Jordan, and associate of Trust for Public Land, Brenda Barnett, teamed up to develop a multi-use river trail system and founded NewTown.
This park remains the most renowned park within the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, as over $9 million was invested in improving the park in 2016.
Amerson River Park is connected to quite a few other parks and areas by this Trail, including:
- Jackson Springs Park,
- Dr. William G. Lee Camellia Gardens,
- Spring Street Park,
- Otis Redding Memorial Bridge,
- Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park,
- Carolyn Crayton Park,
- Charles H. Jones Gateway Park,
- Rotary Park, and
- Riverside Cemetery!
Amerson River Park
In conclusion, Amerson River Park is the perfect day trip to explore with the family and enjoy one of the most popular and beautiful parks available in Middle Georgia! While you’re here, reach out to schedule your next family session!
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