Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary

260 Old Senoia Road

Fayetteville, GA 30215

Hours: Dawn to Dusk Daily

About Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary

The 56-acre site was donated to SCT by the Sams family in 1997. The natural oasis is home to deer, beavers, turtles and over 142 documented species of birds — the third-highest bird population on record in Fayette County.

Trails along the wetland areas include two observation platforms overlooking open water and wetland habitat, a small boardwalk, a wildlife observation blind overlooking the northernmost wetland, and a picnic area on the southern lake.

A Few Things To Look For:

While enjoying your walk at Sams it is likely you will see numerous songbird species, great blue herons, great egrets, wood ducks, mallard ducks, turtles, Canada geese, belted kingfishers, as well as the occasional muskrat or beaver!

Remember, Sams Lake is a Georgia Audubon Certified Bird Sanctuary and pets are not allowed. Please enjoy any of our other nature preserve for the perfect location to walk your dogs.

Trail Map

Download Map to Save
to Your Device

Contact our Park Team


Sams Lake is the perfect spot for birders to enjoy and is a Georgia Audubon Certified Bird Sanctuary. The Southern Conservation Trust is partnered with the Georgia Audubon Society to build a Chimney Swift tower in 2019. This partnership also made way for a joint grant to remove invasive aquatic species that is ongoing as of 2022. 

In 2022 Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary was awarded the Clean 13 Award by the Georgia Water Coalition

Property History

The land was donated to the Trust by the Ferrol and Helen Sams family of Fayetteville. In 2001, the City of Atlanta agreed to restore a wetland habitat at the site as required mitigation for the wetlands disturbed by construction of the fifth runway at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Along with the initial water control structures, a large portion of the property was dammed by beavers! This beaver dam created a large lake and wetland that provides ample habitat for numerous wildlife species.

“It’s such a dynamic park because you have the beaver dam that’s constantly changing,” said Amanda Bell, SCT assistant director of parks. “It’s a very unique landscape.” (Photo by David Hermecz, courtesy of the Southern Conservation Trust.)

Amanda Bell, Assistant Director of Parks

Our Public Nature Areas

The Southern Conservation Trust operates six public nature areas located in Fayette County, GA. Our public nature areas allow the community to experience greenspace and learn about the environment. Our public nature areas are open from sunrise to sunset every day.

Nature Area

181 Morgan Rd, Fayetteville, GA


101 Panther Path, Fayetteville, GA

Sams Lake

Old Senoia Rd, Fayetteville, GA

The Ridge

390 Burch Rd, Fayetteville, GA

Nature Area

100 Wildcat Way, Fayetteville, GA


305 Beauregard Bl Fayetteville, GA

Nature Area Reviews

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what some of our visitors say:

“Nice and quiet place to walk. Trails are safe and clear of debris. Just watch out for snakes! I have seen deer sipping water at a stream here before. Also great place for watching birds or just enjoying the serenity.”

John W.

Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary

“Beautiful and quiet trails. You can hear the birds and when you walk along the creek on the blue trail you can hear the water flowing. The trails are nice and shaded so even if it’s hot out, the shade keeps you cool.”

Alexis B.

The Ridge Nature Area

“There didn’t seem to be any hard obstacles all the way through the third trail. We saw white tail dear, song birds, and a cheeky toad along this trail. Easily navigated, certainly with the publicly posted map and trail markings.”

Kerry B.

Morgan Grove Nature Area

Event Rentals at Our
Public Nature Areas

Southern Conservation Trust Nature Areas are available to rent depending on the area and event. Each public area offers different facilities and opportunities. Requests must be submitted at least six weeks before the event. The Southern Conservation Trust cares deeply about the areas it manages and reserves the right to refuse any event that will have a negative effect on the area.

Volunteer With Us

As a nonprofit, we have several ways you can help us at the Southern Conservation Trust and the Fayette Environmental Education Center. We offer a variety of options such as youth, adult, long-term, and short-term volunteer opportunities. At the Southern Conservation Trust, we recognize our volunteers’ hard work and know that we could not uphold our mission to elevate nature through exceptional stewardship without YOU!