Experience Animals in their Natural Habitat When Visiting Atlanta
Located approximately 20 miles east of downtown Atlanta, Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary is an affordable alternative to better known Zoo Atlanta.
Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary is a favorite on local parents’ list of Atlanta family activities. A paved, mile-long trail winds through 24 wooded acres inhabited by free-roaming native animals as well as several safely caged exotic species. Children and parents alike delight in feeding friendly creatures by hand while strolling through the forested attraction.
Interactive Animal Attraction Near Atlanta
Carrots, peanuts, crackers, and other animal goodies are available for purchase in the gift shop at Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary. The gentle animals wandering the property walk up to visitors hoping for a snack. Children can feed and pet deer, sheep, and small goats. Even the squirrels get in on the act and will eat a peanut directly from a visitor’s hand.
During the early summer, many fawns are born on the property. The mothers and babies can be seen nestling together in safe areas away from the trail, providing wonderful photo opportunities.
Small children love to chase and pet the rabbits that run freely in and out of tunnels created especially for them in their own habitat. Another section of the ranch features chickens and turkeys that walk the path alongside visitors, begging for crackers. Donkeys poke their heads from a sheltering barn to enjoy the carrots.
Wild and Exotic Animals
The Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary also features several wilder species that are housed securely in cages or fenced areas and cannot be fed by the public. Fans of animals with sharp teeth will enjoy the bears and cougar. For the less adventurous, buffalo can be observed roaming in a separate fenced field.
Exotic peacocks also wander near the trail and will spread their colorful tails warning visitors to keep a safe distance. These shy birds quickly retreat if approached by a child.
Groundhog Day with General Beauregard Lee
Yellow River Game Ranch is home to the southeast’s official Groundhog Day weather forecaster, General Beauregard Lee. “Beau” resides in a stylish white-columned traditional Southern mansion. He pops his head out every February 2nd to predict whether or not spring will arrive early. Since 2009 he has been joined on Groundhog Day by another famous Atlanta groundhog – Chopper, the mascot of the Gwinnett Braves (the Atlanta Braves AAA team). Visitors can see Beau’s mansion and try to catch a glimpse of Beau himself year-round.
Fast Facts About Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary
Important things to know about Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary:
- Address: 4525 Stone Mountain Highway (Highway 78), Lilburn, Georgia, 30047
- Phone: 678-395-3453
- Hours: open daily from 9:30-6:00 during the peak season
- Price: adults $8.00, children $7.00 (under 2, free)
- Food for feeding the animals is sold in the gift shop
- The trail is paved and accessible by stroller
- Restrooms and sinks are located at the front of the gift shop; a few washing stations are also located along the trail
- Picnic tables are available on the property (outside the animal viewing area) for visitors who wish to bring a lunch
- Check the Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary website for updated information
- Nearby attractions include Stone Mountain Park
The low admission price and interactive nature of this family-friendly attraction make Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary one of the must-see places to visit in Atlanta.
Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary
4525 US-78, Lilburn, GA 30047
Phone: (678) 395-3453