A Guide to Exploring the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: What to See and Do

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Conveniently located just outside of Macon, Georgia, the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is a unique and picturesque landscape that’s perfect for outdoor exploration and adventure. Spanning over 35,000 acres, the refuge is home to an abundance of native plants and animals, as well as a variety of activities to enjoy.

From hiking, biking, and horseback riding, to fishing, hunting, and bird-watching, visitors of all ages will find plenty to do in this stunning natural oasis. Whether you’re looking to spend a day or a weekend surrounded by nature, a visit to the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is sure to be a memorable experience.

So pack your bags and get ready to explore – the adventure awaits!

Hiking and biking at the refuge

If you’re looking for an adventurous way to spend a few hours at the refuge, hiking and biking are great options. There are multiple hiking trails at the refuge, each with its own unique terrain, wildlife viewing opportunities, and scenic views.

The trails are open year-round and are open daily from dawn to dusk. There are also a few bike trails at the refuge, including a paved trail that’s open year-round and a crushed limestone trail that’s open seasonally. Bike trail hours vary depending on the season, so be sure to check the hours before your visit.

There are also two mountain bike trails at the refuge, so keep an eye out for upcoming events and clinics to learn more about these trails and how to safely navigate them.

Horseback riding at the refuge

Visitors can also enjoy a scenic horseback ride at the refuge. You’ll start your ride from the stables, where you’ll meet with your guide, who will outfit you with the necessary safety gear. Once ready, you’ll begin your ride on the scenic trails of the refuge.

While on the trails, you’ll encounter a variety of wildlife, including deer, waterfowl, and more. There are also guided trail rides offered at the refuge, which will take you on a different trail.

Guided trail rides are offered seasonally, so be sure to check their hours before visiting. Horseback riding at the refuge costs $25 per person.

Fishing and hunting at the refuge

If you’re looking to do a little fishing, or maybe even a little hunting, the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is the place to be. There are seven lakes at the refuge, each stocked with a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. Fishing is open year-round, but is dependent on the water levels and weather conditions.

If you’re looking to do some hunting, there are several game species to choose from, including squirrel, rabbit, quail, dove, and waterfowl. Hunting is regulated by Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, so be sure to check the regulations and hours before you visit.

You can read more about hunting and fishing regulations here.

Bird watching at the refuge

Looking to get up close and personal with some beautiful and rare species of birds? Then you’re in luck, as the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 250 different species of birds, including the bald eagle, wild turkey, and Mississippi sandhill crane.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy bird-watching at the refuge, including a guided bird walk, a photo walk, or a self-guided walk. There are also various events held throughout the year at the refuge, including the Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs from February 15-19, and the April Birding Weekend, which is April 13-14.

For more information about these and other events at the refuge, be sure to visit their website.

Visiting the nature center

If you’re interested in learning more about the refuge, you can visit the nature center, which is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., daily. There are also guided tours of the refuge offered at the nature center, which you can book ahead of time.

There are two types of tours offered at the refuge, including a guided walking tour, which takes you on a two-hour tour of the refuge, and a driving tour, which takes you on a one-hour tour of the refuge. Nature center admission is free, and tour admission varies depending on the type of tour you choose.

Camping at the refuge

If you’re looking to spend more than just a few hours at the refuge, you can also camp at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Camping is allowed at designated campgrounds during turkey and big game hunts. Scout groups are also welcome to camp outside of hunting season when they are working on service projects.

Refuge Trails

Wildlife viewing is a great way to experience wildlife up close and personal, so you can see some beautiful and rare species of birds. Wildlife viewing is offered from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily.

Hiking and biking are great ways to get out on the trails, while horseback riding and fishing are great ways to enjoy some quiet time in nature. And, of course, you can’t forget about bird-watching, since the refuge is home to over 250 species of birds. Trails are seasonally open from February 16 to November 14.

There are multiple trails to choose from, including:

  • Little Rock Hiking Trail (0.72 mi)
  • Creek Trail (0.81 mi)
  • Allison Lake Trail (0.84 mi)
  • Red-cockaded Woodpecker Trail (2.27 mi)
  • Dragonfly Trail (0.53 mi)
  • Pine Trail (0.74 mi)

Contact the park office

You can contact the park office at:

718 Round Oak-Juliette Road
Round Oak, GA 31038-282
(478) 986-5441


Whatever activity you choose, there’s no denying that a visit to the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is sure to be an unforgettable experience.