If you’re driving south through Albany, Georgia, stop by Chehaw Park, a wildlife park and AZA-accredited zoo. It boasts over 700 acres and includes, in addition to the animal habitats, an 8-mile bike trail, a frisbee golf course, playground, campgrounds for tents and RVs, fishing and kayaking.
It’s the same size as Zoo Atlanta to the north but is more spread out. Paved trails cut through the Georgia forest, shaded by pine trees. Here, animals have room to move as their enclosures are large.
What to See at Chehaw Park
Originally a state park, Chehaw was established in 1937 and named for a tribe of Creek Indians who lived nearby. In 1974, it was redeveloped into its current incarnation, the wildlife park. Many of the animals at Chehaw came from the Tift Park Zoo. Wild Kingdom host and Albany native Jim Fowler designed and supervised the building of the habitats.
Visitors will find over 87 species represented at Chehaw including cheetahs, alligators, wolves, and meerkats. An African Veldt experience brings guests even closer to animals like zebras. The reptiles are a crowd-pleaser, as is the Bactrian Camel, Bogart.
Tips for Visiting Chehaw Park
Chehaw Park is located at 105 Chehaw Park Road, Albany, Georgia 31701. They’re open every day from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm with the park open from 8 am to 8 pm.
You can purchase passes to use the park facilities as well as visit the zoo, which will cost a total of $11 for adults. Parking is free and plentiful onsite for both cars and buses.
Where to Eat Near Chehaw Park
The best place to dine near Chehaw Park is the many restaurants in downtown Albany. Zaila’s Place has a soul food menu that changes daily like turkey and dressing, fried chicken, and oxtails. Pearly’s is another Albany institution, with breakfast biscuits, meat and three, and desserts like buttermilk pie.
Where to Stay Near Chehaw Park
Chehaw Campground is set on 800 acres with 40 RV sites and 18 tent sites, with all the necessary hookups. There are also primitive sites and camper cabins not far from the entrance to the park.
Another option is Merry Acres Inn (review here), which has motel-style rooms and a popular restaurant and bar where locals hang out. Or opt for the amenities of the Hilton Garden Inn Albany, located closer to the highway.