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A Walk Through Time in Georgia

Fernbank's signature exhibition, A Walk Through Time in Georgia, tells the two-fold story of Georgia's natural history and the development of our planet. Fifteen galleries combine with theaters and dioramas to explain this complex and fascinating story.

Explore modern Georgia in a series of realistic dioramas that capture the sights and sounds of the state's main geographic regions. Your journey begins in the Piedmont, the region in Georgia with the oldest rocks, and ends at the Coast and Barrier Islands, Georgia's youngest region. Along the way, you will encounter an amazing array of animals and plants and learn more about the geographical regions these creatures call home.

Accompanying the modern dioramas are galleries and theaters that help to explain the chronological development of the Earth. Where appropriate, Georgia's geological and fossil record is used to explain how we know what Georgia looked like in the past. By the end of the exhibition, you will have seen how transformations over millions of years have shaped the environment surrounding you today. Some of the highlights include a walk-through cave in the Ridge and Valley diorama, towering dinosaurs in the Ruling Dinosaurs Gallery and a peek beneath the ocean's surface in the Gray's Reef diorama.


A springtime re-creation of a granite outcrop in the Piedmont region. Piedmont means "foot of the mountains" and describes this large region that encompasses the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Atlanta, Elberton and Stone Mountain are found in the Piedmont.

Appalachian Mountains
An autumn re-creation of a scenic mountain outlook in the Appalachian Mountains, home to Tallulah Gorge, the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River and Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak.

Ridge and Valley
A late summer re-creation of a roadcut through the layered rocks of the Ridge and Valley region, which includes Rome, Cartersville and Dalton. Fossils are common in these rock formations because a shallow sea once covered this region.

Dinosaur Gallery
The Dinosaur Gallery contains murals, life-sized models and other displays that describe life during the Mesozoic Era.

Okefenokee Swamp
This gallery captures a slice of the nearly 600-mile expanse of swampland. When the Okefenokee Swamp formed 25,000 years ago, what is now the Trail Ridge on the eastern edge of the swamp was a marine sandbar that grew into a barrier island. The land on the west side slowly filled and became the spring-fed Okefenokee Swamp. Along the wooden bridge walkway, you can find alligators, snapping turtles, water moccasins, blue herons, owls, raccoons, otters and a bobcat.

Coast and Barrier Islands
Georgia's youngest region is constantly changing where the rivers meet the sea, especially along the string of barrier islands that line the Georgia coast. Experience all of coastal Georgia's habitats in this set of four dioramas: a saltwater marsh, a maritime forest, a beach, and a live-bottom reef.