Sit on a quiet bench overlooking Dyar Pasture Recreation Area and you might just feel invisible, less like an intruder and more a part of this 60-acre freshwater wetland less than 60 miles from Atlanta. Witness an amazing display of birds and wildlife engaged in their natural rituals in this peaceful, middle-Georgia wetland. Day-break and dusk offer particularly good times to see muskrats, beavers, snakes and deer foraging in the wetland and along the banks of the adjacent Oconee River. A short, fully accessible nature trail and viewing deck provide continuous opportunities to see bird species including wood storks, ibises, herons, ducks, shorebirds, eagles, ospreys, and neo-tropical birds. The area also offers picnicking and fishing opportunities, a boat launch with access to the Oconee River and Lake Oconee and a short hiking trail.
Managing a Waterfowl Conservation Area
Dyar Pasture was once a place where beavers controlled the water level and cattle grazed. Today, this 60-acre freshwater wetland, created through a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Power and Ducks Unlimited, is outfitted with a dike and water flow control system. This management allows for a healthy and sustainable waterfowl habitat.
History abounds all around
Nearby Madison, Ga., is renowned for its streets of stately Antebellum homes and historic sites. From the Native Americans who lived here for at least 10,000 years to the days when Hernando de Soto's troops came to the area in 1540 to Georgia's first paper mill in 1811, history has etched a rich heritage here. Today, the ruins of the Scull Shoals Historic Site witness a time gone by. Situated on the banks of the Oconee River, this is great place to appreciate area’s history, enjoy a picnic, or walk the trails in the area.
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, hundreds of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture.
Amenities: Restrooms but no water, picnic tables, a quarter-mile interpretive nature trail, viewing deck and bench, boat ramp for launching boats on Lake Oconee, parking area for vehicles and trailers.
Operating Hours: Open year-long from sunrise to sunset
Fees: Boat launch and wildlife viewing facilities: $3/vehicle/day. A Georgia fishing license and valid boat registration are required.
Reservations: Reservations are not required.
Think Safety: Although this area is part of a state Wildlife Management Area, no hunting is allowed. When leaving your vehicle unattended, hide all valuable from view and secure your vehicle. Always tell someone your plans, where you are going and when you expect to return. Do not attempt to approach wildlife, and please pack out all trash.
Accessibility: A wide, flat, unpaved quarter-mile interpretive nature trail leads from the parking area to the viewing platform, and is accessible to people with disabilities. Restroom facilities are also fully accessible.
Location: Exit off I-20 at Greensboro GA, take U.S. 278 west for eight miles. Turn right onto Greshamville Rd. Turn right onto Copeland Rd. Travel approximately 2.5 miles and turn right onto a dirt road through a pasture to the Dyar Pasture Waterfowl Conservation Area.