Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Newton County, GA

  • Published 2023/03/08

A mystical destination that will leave you wanting to explore more, Newton County, Georgia, is a must-visit.

Each town and city has something to offer, whether you’re seeking for a thrill or simply want to chill out.

Newton County is called “The Hollywood of the South”; it has a lot of fun attractions in addition to it being the location of several popular U.S. television shows.

Sprawling natural wonders can also be observed in its many parks and trails.

Here are some of the places you can visit and the 15 best things to do in Newton County, Georgia:

Have a Picnic at Lake Varner Reservoir

The waters of Lake Varner Reservoir

Georges_Creations /

Pack your picnic baskets and take a trip to Lake Varner Reservoir in Covington.

It is also known as the Cornish Creek Reservoir.

One of the best ways to enjoy quality time with loved ones, a picnic in this sanctuary is made more special with its serene atmosphere.

A short fishing pier at Lake Varner Reservoir

Georges_Creations /

Imagine yourself eating lunch or snacks with the trees, lake, and sun as your backdrop!

Lake Varner Reservoir is also open for fishing and regular walks.

If you want to make the most out of your day, you can engage in these activities before or after your picnic.

Explore the Alcovy Conservation Center

Put on a ranger hat and explore nature and wildlife at the Alcovy Conservation Center.

Located on 115 acres along the Alcovy River in Covington, it is overseen by the Georgia Wildlife Federation, which aims to “keep Georgia wild” by encouraging ethical hunting practices, restoring natural elements, including waters, wildlife, forest, and field, preserving wildlife, as well as developing outdoor opportunities that utilize nature.

The Alcovy Conservation Center has 15,000 square feet of learning area and sprawling gardens.

You can explore the area by strolling in its boardwalks and trails, which will take you through woodlands, wetlands, and meadows.

Along the way, be mindful of the birds and other wildlife you may encounter.

It’s also encouraged for you to practice responsible tour and walk practices to make sure your trip is safe and comfortable.

Walk Your Dog around Asbury Street Park

Spend the day bonding with your furry companion at Asbury Street Park.

Located along Watson Street in Oxford, Asbury Street Park is a tranquil pet-friendly park where you can get your daily dose of exercise while walking your dog.

This park spans four and a half acres and features a pavilion, nature trails, a massive playing field, and a playground for kids.

If you’ve been feeling cooped up at home and you’re craving a day outdoors, you don’t have to go too far because this park is located in the heart of Oxford.

Bring your pet and kids along and spend some quality time walking around this park!

For a fun day for the whole family, you can also pack a lunch and dine on your delicious meal at this park’s picnic areas.

Visit the Hauntingly Beautiful Orna Villa

Exterior of Orna Villa

Haha169, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Set foot in the oldest house in Oxford, the Orna Villa.

There are a lot of historical houses in Georgia, and this is one of the first and top ones you should visit.

Other than being a hauntingly beautiful building, it also holds significant heritage not just for the town but also for American history.

It’s a Greek Revival house that was built in 1825.

Standing tall on Emory Street, this house has seen the turn of generations and unfolding stories of those who inhabited it before.

It was originally owned by Alexander Means, founder of Emory College, which is now Oxford College of Emory University.

The house also served as a hospital during the American Civil War.

It is also featured in the list of Haunted Houses in Georgia because of its ghost, Toby Means, so if you’re brave enough, you can also join a tour to know the story behind it!

Orna Villa is also known as the Alexander Means House or the Means/Tanner House.

Spend a Day in Nature at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and enjoy a day amid nature at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center.

Head to Mansfield and enjoy an array of activities, including fishing, hiking, and camping.

Part of the Center is the Marben Public Fishing Area consisting of 22 managed lakes where you can cast a line and fish.

Picnic areas and well-maintained restrooms are also available.

There’s also the Clybel Wildlife Management Area, Preaching Rock Wildlife Education Center, and a conference center where you can have an immersive educational experience that will help you enjoy and appreciate nature even more.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division manages the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center.

Be Enchanted by the Urban Woodland – Chimney Park

Imagine the forest or woodland you read about in children’s books—that’s what Chimney Park is.

This 12-acre site located in Covington is a secret garden that evokes a dreamy atmosphere for everyone who visits.

You can explore the winding walking and biking trails of the park while breathing in the fresh air from the towering trees.

Chimney Park also holds several events, festivals, and fairs like the Fairy Festival, Festival of Trees, and more.

Located within the Park is Sandy’s Dog Park, where you can take your furry friends for a walk even without a leash.

Chimney Park is a great place for you to visit, chill out, and feel magical!

Take a Tour of the Famous Oxford College

Seney hall at Oxford College

Haha169, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An esteemed educational institute, Oxford College stands tall in the small town of Oxford.

The beautiful campus is open to visitors who wish to see the buildings and tree-lined walkways.

Self-guided and managed tours are available, so you can choose whichever is more convenient for your visit.

You can learn about the college and its rich history, including significant milestones that date back to its establishment in the 1830s.

The campus has seen the changing of times, from its early beginnings by its founders, The Methodist Episcopal Church, through the Civil War and the years leading to how and what Oxford College is today.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Oxford College

Haha169, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go on a Hunt at Burnt Pine Plantation

Head to Newborn City and create hunting memories at Burnt Pine Plantation.

If you are a hunting enthusiast, this is the perfect place for you.

The plantation has around 4,500 acres of well-managed land that allows you to hunt for Quail, Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Pheasant, and Dove, among others.

There’s also a lodge, conference area, and dining facilities inside the compound where you can hold special events or simply enjoy a delicious meal after a day of hunting.

If holding rifles and guns is not your thing, you can also go fishing here at Burnt Pine Plantation.

Feed Your Vampire Curiosity at the Vampire Stalkers Museum

Ranked 6th in the Best Vampire Destination in the World by Travel Channel, Vampire Stalkers in Covington is a must-visit spot for enthusiasts and fans.

The museum has items and clothing from the famous American TV shows Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies.

Memorabilia from the films Heat of the Night and Dukes of Hazzard can also be found on location.

The Vampire Stalkers Museum is free to the public.

Made popular by the TV show Vampire Diaries and fondly called ‘Mystic Falls,’ you can also explore the area and visit iconic locations through guided tours.

Make sure to take lots of photos as you learn more about the place.

Take in the Stunning View of the Tranquil Waters at Porterdale Yellow River Park

The waters of Porterdale Yellow River Park

Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the towering trees and lush flora at Porterdale Yellow River Park.

Porter Yellow River Park is a popular landmark in the city and is known to be the home of the Yellow River Park Disc Golf course.

This park is situated along Railroad Street in Porterdale and features amenities you’ll love, especially if you are fond of spending time in nature.

Besides the tall trees and the lively flowers that fill this spacious park, you’ll also see the tranquil river adjacent to it.

Whether you want to go kayaking along the waters or walk around the nature trails, you’ll find something fun to do at this park.

You can also bring your furry companion here if you want to spend the day bonding with them while having some fun in nature!

Experience the Farming Life at Crystal Organic Farm

Deepen your appreciation for agriculture and farming when you drop by Crystal Organic Farm.

Crystal Organic Farm is one of the earliest organic farms in the whole region, established in 1993.

This farm is a scenic destination where you won’t only be able to score fresh produce but also discover more about farming.

The staff members at this farm are incredibly eco-friendly and take conscious efforts to return essential minerals back to the soil.

Make sure to ask the staff for more information about the plants they nurture and how you can give back to nature when farming!

You’ll also love the beautiful view of the landscape as you explore this destination.

Widen your knowledge on environmentally-friendly farming practices while appreciating the beauty and power of nature in this Newborn establishment.

Learn How to Ride a Horse at Dabney Riding Academy

Experience riding an equine when you visit Dabney Riding Academy!

Dabney Riding Academy is a school for those who are interested in learning how to ride a horse properly.

Whether you just want to experience riding a horse or you have dreams of becoming an equestrian, this is a great destination to visit.

Located along Hodges Circle in Mansfield, this riding academy provides horseback riding workshops for visitors of all ages and skill levels.

Here, you can build your confidence and dive deep into the disciplines related to horseback riding.

You’ll also get the chance to understand how horses relate to one another and try different tried-and-tested riding techniques.

Stroll along Turner Lake Park

A bench swing at Turner Lake Park

Georges_Creations /

Put on your walking shoes and explore the trails of Turner Lake Park.

Found in Covington, the park is part of a trail system that boasts a relatively easy three-mile trail, letting you enjoy a leisurely walk while being surrounded by nature.

Unpaved and paved walkways will also take you to an outdoor classroom and old homesite foundation where you can learn more about the area.

You can also check out the beautiful lake and take rests along the way.

If you are in the mood for a relaxing day, taking a walk at Turner Lake Park may be right up your alley.

Cast Your Line at Red’s Lake

Bring all of your loved ones and have fun spending the day trying to catch fish at Red’s Lake!

Red’s Lake is a scenic outdoor destination lying along Macedonia Church Road in Oxford.

This park features three ponds, two of which are always stocked for those who come to fish.

From carp to catfish, you can find many types of fish from the ponds at this destination.

If you’re confident about your fishing skills, you can even join tournaments held at this location regularly.

Try your luck and attempt to catch a massive fish when you visit Red’s Lake!

Visit the Historic Newton County Courthouse

Exterior of the Historic Newton County Courthouse

The Brownfowl collection /

An amazing sight in Covington, the historic Newton County Courthouse is a towering structure that has a clock tower featured in photos and postcards.

It was built in 1884 and stood on the same spot where the old county courthouse burned down back in 1883.

Designed by Bruce & Morgan, the building has stunning Second Empire architecture, with intricate details from its clock tower, windows, and walls.

The Newton County Courthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Pause and admire the architecture and take a couple of photos!

Clock tower of the Historic Newton County Courthouse

The Brownfowl collection /

Final Thoughts

There are more things to explore and experience in the wonderful Newton County, Georgia.

With its unique offerings, it is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and laidback travelers alike.

Whether you want to explore its many gardens and parks, visit exciting tourist spots, join popular tours, or have an immersive cultural experience, Newton County will satisfy your travel itch.

Newton County’s cities each have their own charm and history, giving you a glimpse into the past, appreciation for the present, and anticipation for what’s to come.

Don’t miss out on these wonderful destinations, and try these best things to do in Newton County, Georgia on your next visit!

© All rights reserved.