Fairies and gnomes return to CNC for the winter

Nature-inspired gnome's home built on a rock foundation at this year's Enchanted Woodland Trails exhibit at Chattahoochee Nature Center running through Feb. 28.
Nature-inspired gnome's home built on a rock foundation at this year's Enchanted Woodland Trails exhibit at Chattahoochee Nature Center running through Feb. 28.

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

Q: My nieces will be visiting soon and I’d like to find out about the fairy houses at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Can you give me some information about this?

A: The fairy houses you are asking about are part of CNC’s Enchanted Woodland Trails exhibit now in its fifth year, which is sponsored by Northside Hospital.

Over 40 nature-inspired fairy houses and gnome homes have returned this year and taken up residence at the center’s woodland trails. The event will run through Feb. 28.

The exhibit was inspired by a story (Fairy Houses) written by Tracy Kane about a young girl’s discovery of fairy houses while vacationing in Maine with her parents.

Searching for the dwellings offers fantasy, adventure and nature.

Fairy house No. 39 is nestled among the leaves.
Fairy house No. 39 is nestled among the leaves.

Credit: contribu

Credit: contribu

“It’s kind of that seasonal migration that helps tie in something fictional and whimsical through nature education when colder weather comes,” said the visitor experience manager Jana Pearce.

“The mission of the exhibit is to really get people outside even though it’s wintertime, to connect them to the natural surroundings by inspiring them to slow down,” she said. “Some of these houses are really camouflaged.”

Pearce said there are those who come out to recharge and take in the quietness while exploring the home-lined trails. And then there are the “explorers” who want to know the exact number of houses so they can find them all.

“A tip I always give those people is if you walk the trail in one direction and you don’t quite get the number you were hoping for, go back and walk it the opposite direction, sometimes you will pick up on stuff you missed the first time,” she noted.

At the north side of the exhibit stands a 12-foot-tall blue door with a photo opportunity that you don’t want to miss.
“If you stand in front of it for a picture, it’s a forced perspective and makes it look like you are tiny,” Pearce said.
At the north side of the exhibit stands a 12-foot-tall blue door with a photo opportunity that you don’t want to miss. “If you stand in front of it for a picture, it’s a forced perspective and makes it look like you are tiny,” Pearce said.

Credit: contrib

Credit: contrib

In the free play area, those feeling inspired can create their own fairy house.

Free to Chattahoochee Nature Center Members. General Admission: $10 adults, $7 seniors (65+) and students (13-18), $6 children (3-12) Children 2 and under are free.

Everyone must purchase admission tickets in advance, which include a date and time to visit the center.

For more information, visit www.chattnaturecenter.org. For updates, view “Plan your Visit” page on the website.

Address: 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell (770-992-2055).

New to Atlanta or simply have a question about this place we call home? Email your request to atlactualfact@gmail.com

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