Montezuma Bluff Wildlife Management Area
The Montezuma Bluff Wildlife Management Area is a 500 acre stand of relatively undisturbed mature hardwood forest. The damp, shady slopes sheer off in a 150-foot escarpment of eroded limestone to form a spectacular bluff overlooking a towering beechwood swamp. Boaters can enjoy magnificent views of the bluffs while exploring the swampy creeks and sandbars below. Trails are open only to foot traffic.
Visitors can see 50 million year old fossilized limestone encrusted with ancient sea shells from the Tallahatta Formation marine ecosystem. Every spring hikers enjoy a stunning display of one of the state's largest populations of rare relic trillium. The endangered blossoms are clustered among fossils and other protected plant species. They reach for the sun through a blanket of leaves beneath the branches of old-growth beech and magnolia.
A shady walking trail weaves along a ridge through wildflowers, palmettos and moss draped hardwoods. Two viewing decks are nestled above expansive vistas and offer birdwatchers refuge to see soaring hawks, woodpeckers, herons and flocks of migratory species. Climb the dry bluffs and watch for sparkleberry, yucca, mountain catchfly and shortleaf pine.
The dry slopes are habitat for the southern ringneck snake, gray rat snake, tiger salamander, marbled salamander and broadhead skink. White-tailed deer, boar, wild turkeys, squirrels and quail forage the slopes and fox and raccoon dens are buried among the rocky bluffs. Rattlesnakes nest in the rock crevices and sun on limestone outcroppings.
Directions Traveling on I-75 South, take Exit 149 at Byron for Georgia Highway 49 South. Go through Ft. Valley and Marshallville, then travel approximately 11 miles (watch for Brown’s Farm Market and U-Pick Flowers) and turn right on Crooks Landing Road.
Traveling on I-75 North, take Exit 142 (Perry and Montezuma) for Georgia Highway 224 West and go about 15 miles into Montezuma. Turn left at the three-way stop behind the Depot, and then right at the stop light onto North Dooly (Georgia Highway 49 North). Go approximately two miles and turn left (West) on Crooks Landing Road. Go less than one mile and park on the right at the top of the hill for the main trail and an information kiosk. The Wildlife Management Area is on both sides of the road. To reach the boat ramp, go down the hill and turn right, then left.