Information on:

The Parks At Chehaw

105 Chehaw Park Road
229-430-5275

History

Our Beginning

Originally developed as Chehaw State Park in 1937, the property consisted of 586 acres donated to the state of Georgia by private landowners in Dougherty and Lee Counties. It is enclosed on two sides by a large, clear water bayou formed by the conjoining of the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creeks. The property has expanded to nearly 800 acres and consists of moss-covered cypress swamps, hardwood forests, and a well-maintained wiregrass habitat.

The park was named after the Chiha, or Chehaw, a tribe of Creek Indians who lived throughout the property and befriended white settlers. Artifacts such as arrowheads, spearheads, tomahawks, hoes, drill, scrapers, clay pipes and stone celts were commonly found during original park development. Variations in artifact design show the land was used by distinctly different tribes over several hundreds of years.

A New Home

In 1974, the city of Albany leased 100 unused acres of Chehaw from the state of Georgia with the intent to develop a wild animal park where exotic and indigenous animals would be displayed in their natural habitats. With the inception of the wild animal habitat, the State donated the entire Chehaw acreage to the city to further development. The City of Albany with Chehaw commissioned Jim Fowler, a native of Albany and host of the popular television show Wild Kingdom, to design and supervise the construction of the wildlife area.

The original animals were moved from the Tift Park Zoo in Albany to their new home at Chehaw between 1975 and 1977. Chehaw Wild Animal Park was officially dedicated and opened to the public in October of 1977. Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) was achieved in 1997.

Expansion & Infrastructure

Between 1997 and 2002, the Parks at Chehaw began to examine other park venues that would be a valuable asset to the community. After evaluation, construction of the two-million dollar Creekside Education Center, the Children’s Play Park and a nationally sanctioned BMX bike track began. Additional infrastructure construction included: animal quarantine, veterinary hospital, Savannah Café, bathrooms, reptile house and ticket booth.

Chehaw has a rich history, a unique setting, a skilled and diverse staff, strong city support, an outstanding support organization and a new vision for the future. This vision will encompass the principles on which Chehaw was founded… conservation, education and preservation.



Reviews

Kori McDaniel

Rating:
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Our family of 5 got in for about $30 I think. It's probably been 15 years since I went with family and after reading the reading was so worried about the "disrepair". Shame on those people. We had a wonderful time, my kids loved it. The views are far more unobstructed than at the Atlanta Zoo. There was hardly any crowd so we were able to stay at each exhibit as long as we wanted without feeling rushed. We have a 9 month old and a 3 year old so we took our double stroller which is usually difficult to navigate. I had literally no issues pushing any portion of the trail or zoo. The bathrooms were clean and well kept. We were able to make it to one of the animal shows about reptiles. The staff was awesome and gave an awesome demonstration. He answered every question and let everyone touch the animals he brought with him. If I absolutely had to complain about something, we didn't take the tour of the park because we weren't sure when it came and people were leaving their strollers instead of taking them on the tour. Didn't feel like we missed anything by not going though! We had a wonderful time!

Brian Burke

Rating:
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018
Visited Chehaw Park today with my family it was a little cold but the animals seemed to love it. The zoo itself is very quaint without all the bells and whistles of a larger zoo. I personally loved it! The bathrooms are simple yet clean. Perfect place to take the kids to get away for the day. Features: The Zoo of course, camping area, Massive playground, Frisbee golf course, and tons more!!! Enjoy all my pictures...

Scott Gilmer

Rating:
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Chehaw Park Zoo was pretty great, all things being equal. It makes for a great day trip because you can see all the animals in just a couple hours. There are several different animals you can feed, the coolest of which is the black rhino. They offer season passes at an affordable rate or day passes that worked out to about $12 a person.

Christy Recke

Rating:
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Animals are great, native fest was fantastic. Staff isnt always friendly and some looked worn out. Location is great. Recommend rhino and alligator exhibits.

Forrest Buford

Rating:
Thursday, May 17, 2018
This is Albany's little secret. We have a zoo!!! And it's one of the many great palces we have for family fun and all kinds of activities through the year. Like the Native American festival and the Pioneer Festival for example. This park also has a children's play area along with several miles of walking trails to enjoy. There's lake access to, our beautiful, lake cheehaw. If you like biking there is also a BMX track along with their brand new RC car track. Honestly the list continues but if you want to see it all then you must come out and get closer to nature 👍

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