Walking in the serene setting of William H. Reynolds Nature Preserve, it’s hard to believe you’re just 12 miles from Atlanta. This hidden bastion of nature in Morrow is just one of the many wonderful parks maintained by Clayton County Parks & Recreation. Let the stress of city life slip away as you enjoy the tranquility of 146 acres of undisturbed woodlands, ponds, and streams.
Reynolds Nature Preserve is dedicated to promoting public awareness of appreciation of the natural environment. The preserve features four miles of multi-use trails and provides an opportunity for visitors to commune with nature while enjoying the many recreational pursuits available in Clayton County. A wheelchair accessible native plants trail is located just outside the Preserve Interpretive Center. Native woodland, aquatic, and granite outcrop plants are represented.
The Interpretive Center offers exhibits on native species and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Preserve is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. until dusk. Groups may schedule guided nature walks between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the Preserve Office for details.
The park’s entrance is at 5665 Reynolds Road, Morrow, GA 30260 and is easily accessible from I-75, I-675, and US-19/US-41. The park is surrounded by residential areas and is a short distance from Clayton State University’s main campus.
Reynolds Nature Preserve Perimeter Loop
Reynolds Nature Preserve Perimeter Loop is a 1.5-mile, moderately trafficked trail that features serene views and is good for all skill levels. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
From the trailhead, bear right to head north along the Perimeter Trail toward the Interpretive Center. Passing the Center, the trail bends left and turns slowly west. At 0.2 miles the trail makes a sharp left to turn south and the elevation starts to pick up slightly.
After another 0.2 miles, a side trail will appear on the right and if you’re up for it, will take you out to a tranquil pond. Back on the trail, you’ll continue on the Crooked Creek section of the Perimeter Loop for 0.3 miles.
At 0.7 miles, you’ll hit the Black Mountain portion of the loop which will take you along the south side of the 1,116-foot landmark. While the elevation change isn’t as significant as other hikes in the northern part of the state, the incline grade can range from 10% to 19% at the trail’s steepest.
Once the trail hits its high point at 0.9 miles, the path descends significantly as you approach the southern tip of Big Pond. You’ll pass closely along the banks of the water and turn north back toward the parking lot and trailhead.
After passing Big Pond on your left, you’ll pass the smaller Dry Pond and Island Pond, also on your left, before coming back to the trailhead and parking lot.