When you and your family spend time together in nature, everyone gets to experience seeing wildlife, watching clouds drift by while resting on a grassy open space, and getting some exercise while you’re hiking. Our team at Crème de la Crème of East Cobb, GA, created this list of six nature-filled experiences to share with your family in the beautiful area.

McFarlane Nature Park

Trees on a summer day with clouds in the sky

Atlanta – McFarlane Nature Park – Trees by Mike Finn is licensed with CC BY 2.0

McFarlane Nature Park was once an agricultural farm until the owner willed her land to the community, stipulating that it remain a nature park for all to enjoy. This 11.5-acre park has open meadows, shady trees, and over 100 labeled native plants and trees you can view. Lace up your hiking shoes when you come to McFarlane Nature Park to stroll the wooded nature trails while looking for birds and local wildlife. The open green space is the perfect spot to throw a Frisbee or toss a ball back and forth with your family.

Garden enthusiasts will appreciate the well-tended gardens filled with native plants and flowers maintained by local volunteers. It’s easy to enjoy a picnic at McFarlane Nature Park, with several picnic benches placed throughout the park. After enjoying the park’s natural features, be sure to stop by the historic farmhouse, stables, and pump house to see how people in the early 1940s lived.

Location: 280 Farm Road SE., Marietta.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Morgan Falls Overlook Park

Pack a picnic lunch and take the family to nearby Sandy Springs, Georgia,  to spend the afternoon and catch the sunset at Morgan Falls Overlook Park. This beautiful park overlooks the peaceful Chattahoochee River, where anglers can cast their line for local and stocked fish. Kids can play on the playground while you relax under a shady tree, or the family can take a walk together along the hiking trails.

If you work up an appetite at the park, you’ll be glad to enjoy a meal on one of the picnic tables, if unreserved, or on the open grassy areas with stunning views of the river and woodlands. You’re welcome to bring your dog with you so they can explore the park and trails as long as you keep them on a leash.

Location: 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset unless posted otherwise.

East Cobb Park

Everyone in the family will find something to do when visiting the 20-acre East Cobb Park. This family-friendly park has open spaces, a creek overlook, and unique walking trails featuring slate and natural surfaces. East Cobb Park is considered a passive park as it does not have any sports facilities within its boundaries, helping to make an adventure here more nature-based. 

You’ll find sheltered picnic tables, clean restrooms, and drinking water at this park to make for a pleasant way to spend the afternoon in the East Cobb, Georgia, area. If you plan on picnicking at East Cobb Park, make getting food easy by picking up to-go food at any of these healthy eateries in the East Cobb area.

Location: 3322 Roswell Road, Marietta.

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Big Trees Forest Preserve

If you’d like to see an old-growth Georgia forest, head over to the Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs. This preserve was once slated to be bulldozed for a commercial venture, but a private citizen John Ripley Forbes, worked with the Southeast Land Preservation Trust to purchase the 30 acres of forested land to become the Big Trees Forest Preserve.

Today, you can hike various trails located in the preserve. One of the more popular trails, the Backcountry Trail, takes you past the Powers Branch gorge and under the canopy of softwood and hardwood forests. As you stroll along, you’ll see native azaleas, blueberries, and various blooming wildflowers, depending on the season. For your convenience, you’ll find plenty of free parking at the Big Trees Forest Preserve and restrooms and water fountains near the main entrance.

Location: 7645 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Spend the day in nature at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and gain valuable historical knowledge pertinent to the East Cobb, Georgia, area. This 2,965-acre National Battlefield pays homage to soldiers who fought in the Civil War at this location. You can also enjoy hiking and mountain biking throughout the 18-mile trail system. 

You won’t want to miss the views you’ll see at the top of Kennesaw Mountain. Hike the 1.2-mile trail with a 700-foot elevation or drive the 1.4 miles in your car to see the sweeping views from the top of the mountain. The road is closed to vehicles on weekends, so hikers and bicyclists can use the open space to reach the mountain’s top. The park’s staff does provide a shuttle service when they close the road.

Location: 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw.

Hours: Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

A.L. Burruss Nature Park

Enjoy a peaceful afternoon strolling the nature trails and listening to the sounds of Rottenwood Creek when you visit A.L. Burruss Nature Park. You’re welcome to bring your pup with you as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash, and you and your family can enjoy a picnic at one of the shaded picnic pavilions after your hike in the park.

This park boasts an extensive network of biking and hiking trails that takes you under the forest canopy, over wooden bridges, and along the banks of the creek. There are family-friendly areas where beginner bike riders can practice their skills. All bicycle riders must wear a helmet.

Location: 75 S. Cobb Drive, Marietta.

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Our team at Crème de la Crème of East Cobb (Marietta) hopes you and your family enjoy visiting these local parks for a nature-filled experience. Which one is your favorite? Is there a park or nature preserved we missed here? If so, let us know, as we always enjoy learning about natural places in our area.