Gibbs Gardens & Edge of the World Trail Day Trip

One of the greatest reasons to stay in Dahlonega is that there is so much to do and see. If you want to explore outside the area it also makes a convenient and centralized base camp for day trips to places like Gibbs Gardens. The gardens are 52 minutes away from the inn. After visiting the gardens you may want to visit the Edge of the World trail on the way back to the inn (more info and map to both destinations below).

The gardens were started by Atlanta horticularist and landscaper Jim Gibbs who also founded Gibbs Landscape Company. Mr. Gibbs searched the area for the ideal place to build his gardens and found some beautiful rolling property with water (streams and springs) near Ball Ground.

The gardens he built on the 295 acre property comprise 220 acres and is one of the largest residential estate gardens in the country. Over the years he has built 24 ponds, 32 bridges and 19 waterfalls to add beauty and interest to his many native plantings, exotic plants, perennials and annuals. Gibbs Gardens consists of 16 gardens including three feature gardens called the Manor House Gardens, Japanese and Waterlily Gardens. Unique and interesting sculptures are also in the gardens. A large Manor House of European architecture is also a centerpiece on the property.

It takes around 3.5 to 4 hours to see everything. Check their web site below to see what is featured throughout the season and what is “in bloom” when you plan to visit.

Guests are not permitted to bring food or drink onto the property except for bottled water. Since you might get hungry while on the property you can purchase food at the Arbor Cafe. The cafe features seasonal food offerings from fresh salads, to wraps and sandwiches. Sorry no wine on the menu.

The gardens are open from 2/16-5/31 from 9-4 Tuesday through Sunday and 6/1-12/8 from 9-4 Wednesday through Sunday. It’s highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance from their web site to avoid a wait.

They also have art exhibits by visiting artists at various times throughout the year and an annual art festival on the Manor House lawn in September. For more information visit

After spending most of your day at Gibbs Gardens you will be ready to head back to the inn. On the way back you might want to stop by the “Edge of the World” trail located on the Amicalola River (a 2.9 mile loop). We have shown the location on our map below. A link below gives more information on the hike. The area is popular with kayakers since it has class IV whitewater. For more information visit

For more things to do in the area visit

gibbs gardens