Escape the traffic and take hike through Fernbank Forest

Fernbank Forest
Fernbank Forest

Photograph courtesy of Fernbank Forest

There’s a place in Atlanta where you can’t hear car horns or thrumming engines, where it’s a bit cool even on sweltering August days, where you can forget that you’re in the middle of a large city entirely. Fernbank Forest, Atlanta’s largest urban forest, is 65 acres of tranquility. Go for a ramble, and you’ll encounter stately trees, a rocky stream, and 400 species of plants and wildlife. Access to the forest is limited to visitors to Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which took control of the land in 2012 and spent the next four years clearing out invasive species and installing an adjacent outdoor educational area, Wildwoods. There, our favorite features include elevated walkways that wind through treetops; soaring flower- and fern-shaped “pods;” and plenty of bridges, boulders, and rope ladders for kids to scramble over. 767 Clifton Road, 404-929-6300,

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