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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Elachee Nature Center

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville GA 30504   Hike: Elachee Nature Center  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Dec 2 2012  9:30 am >> Sun, Dec 2 2012 12:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:45 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Nov 29 2012 8:56 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Dec 1 2012 8:48 pm
Event Duration:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:6.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:14
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


The Elachee Nature Science Center is located within the 1,500 acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, which is one of the largest protected greenspaces in the state. The forest preserve contains 13 miles of hiking trails featuring rolling topography and four diverse habitats - woodland, lake, stream and wetland. The trails wind through pine forests, hardwood ridges, streams, and wetlands with sightings of deer, birds and beautiful blooms and greenery. The preserve serves as a plant and animal sanctuary and an ideal outdoor classroom.

Our hike will hike 6.5 miles on parts of the following trails: East Lake, Mathis, Dunlap, West Lake, Pine Grove, Ed Dodd, Geiger, and Elachee Creek.   Most of the trails are hard packed dirt or mulch, with some rocks and exposed roots.  There is not a lot of elevation change, but still some moderate hills to get the heart rate up.

About the Nature Center:
Elachee's Conservation Projects work to protect the ecosystem and promote environmental stewardship. The Nature Preserve is being restored and maintained as a healthy forest with a variety of native wildlife habitats and native plant communities. Streams in the Chicopee Woods are being restored with natural design principles, and managed to provide clean water and biodiversity. The name Elachee is derived from the Cherokee language meaning "new green earth."

In 1978 Elachee Nature Science Center was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. In 1980 The Johnson and Johnson Corporation donated 2,500 acres of land in Gainesville, GA to be used as a public park overseen by the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission. Approximately 1,500 acres of this land was set aside as a nature preserve and eventually leased to Elachee, who built the museum and classroom complex in 1990 with the assistance of a local sales tax option.

In 2001, a conservation easement legally protected the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve from development, and named Elachee as trustee. Also in 2001, the Preserve was recognized by The National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area (IBA), an area essential to nesting and migrating birds.

The main Visitor Center off Atlanta Highway includes a museum, administrative building, classroom, outdoor classrooms, teaching pavilions, native gardens, rain garden, compost demonstration site, and access to hiking trails. The Dunlap/Armstrong Museum Building houses interactive discovery areas investigating astronomy, native wildlife, and local archaeological history, a live animal display, educational classrooms and a Nature Shop. In addition to hosting public museum visitors, these areas are used for educational programs for school students, scouts, and the public, children's day camps, children's birthday parties, community events, and Elachee fundraisers.

In 1999 Elachee Nature Science Center gained accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as an outdoor environmental education center.

Required Items to Bring:

Water or Sports drink - at least 1 liter
Sturdy hiking shoes

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Light Snack
  • Clothing appropriate for the weather
  • Lunch for afterwards at the Nature Center if desired


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

From the Park and Ride go north on I 85, and take the I 985 exit.
Continue on I 985 to Exit 17. Turn left off the ramp onto GA 13 (Atlanta Highway).
Continue north on Atlanta Hwy past Chicopee Woods Golf Course on the right.
Turn at the next right and a quick right onto Elachee Drive.
Follow Elachee Drive for 1 mile through the golf course, across bridge over I-985, and bear left around curve leading to museum center parking lot.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):60Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:45 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $24.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


Up to 3 well behaved dogs are welcome on this event and the owners are responsible for maintaining their dogs in accordance with park rules.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:

Althought there is no admission fee to use the trails, the Elachee Nature Center maintains these trails as a private, non-profit organization relying on donor support. If you wish to make a contribution, donation boxes are located at the overflow parking area and at Chicopee Lake.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.