Locate It: Ball Ground

Ball Ground: Georgia’s Garden of Eden

Local folklore places the community of Ball Ground, Georgia near fields where Cherokee Indians played stick ball against the Creeks for the prize of a thousand square miles of land, so it’s no wonder that outdoor recreation is a major pillar of the city’s high quality of life.

Local folklore places the community of Ball Ground, Georgia near fields where Cherokee Indians played stick ball against the Creeks for the prize of a thousand square miles of land, so it’s no wonder that outdoor recreation is a major pillar of the city’s high quality of life. Today the community boasts four newly renovated parks and recreation facilities.

Parks and Recreation facilities in Ball Ground include Calvin Farmer Park, City Park, Calvin Farmer Multi Use Area, Lions Field, the Community Center Complex, and the City Gym. Fifteen-acre Calvin Farmer Park features two picnic pavilions, a playground, a duck pond, open fields and wooded areas with a small stream running through the center, and a performance stage available for public use and concerts. City Park, adjacent to the railway in downtown, is a nicely wooded and shady spot for family fun and relaxation. It is an excellent venue for the Ball Ground Rocks the Park summer concert series as well as family friendly movies in the park. The Calvin Farmer Multi Use Area offers wide open spaces for picnicking, throwing a Frisbee, or flying a kite. The Community Center Complex includes a ball field, tennis courts, and a basketball court.

The City of Ball Ground is actively engaged in adding more green space, and recently acquired acreage along Long Swamp Creek that will eventually be connected by foot trail to downtown Ball Ground.

Dwight Terry Park near Ball Ground is maintained by Cherokee County Recreation and Parks Agency and features two baseball/softball diamonds, a playground, and a ½-mile walking track.

Just outside the City of Ball Ground is the McGraw Ford Wildlife Management Area, located on the Etowah River. The 2,255-acre state-managed property has equestrian, hiking and off-road biking trails, as well as opportunities for river fishing and hunting for deer, bear, turkey, small game, dove, and waterfowl. Trails are closed before 10 a.m. during deer, bear, and turkey seasons.

Perhaps where Ball Ground really shines is in its gardens. On the grounds of City Hall is Ball Ground Botanical Gardens, three-quarters of an acre featuring flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs – hundreds of plants blooming from spring until fall. The garden includes a Native Garden, Daylily Walk, Children’s Garden, Bog Garden, Japanese Garden, and a Butterfly Garden that is on the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.

Ball Ground’s claim to fame really belongs to the 292-acre Gibbs Gardens, one of the nation’s largest residential estate gardens. Gibbs Gardens includes 24 ponds, a beautiful stream that flows through the middle of the valley, 32 bridge crossings, 19 waterfalls, and 16 garden rooms planted with hundreds of varieties of plants and carved into pockets surrounded by acres of deciduous trees that provide spectacular fall color. There is something beautiful to see practically any time of year, from more than 20 million daffodils in spring to 140 varieties of water lilies from spring to fall. It’s easy to spend a half day or more amongst the splendor of these artistically designed gardens.

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