Catoosa County Government Website
Elsie Holmes Nature Park
Monday and Tuesday: 9 am - 6
The Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park provides visitors
a place of recreation that includes trails, fishing, picnics, or just a
quiet place to enjoy nature.
The 66-acre park was officially opened July 25,
1997. Catoosa County
resident Ben Holmes donated the property for the spacious park in memory
of his wife, Elsie.
Married in May 1946, the couple moved to Catoosa
County in 1948. Mrs. Holmes
died at the age of 69 in November 1978 after suffering with Alzheimers
disease for about six years.
Located at 88 Ben Holmes Road, the park is bordered
by the South Chickamauga Creek and includes five walking trails, a
1,500-square-foot screened-in pavilion, rest rooms, and an office.
The pavilion can be reserved for groups, and the
park staff is available to speak or give guided tours on a prearranged
Visitors to the park can find many different
species of wildflowers, plants, and trees.
Some selected trees are marked with signs to identify them.
There is also a trail located on the ridge that is accessible for
strollers and those with disabilities.
Walking in the park at the age of 85 and suffering
from heart disease just a few weeks before the park opening, Mr. Holmes
said, My days are numbered. I wanted to see it before I kicked off.
Mr. Holmes said that he donated the land because,
I hated to see the place cut up and put into housing tracts. I decided I would save it for the good of the county.
Mr. Holmes died on September 3, three months after
the park opened.
Most people dont realize what a gift Mr.
Holmes has made to us. I
cant convey how nice it was for him to do that, said Catoosa
County Manager Jim Callaway.
Directions to the Park
From Ringgold: Take Ooltewah/Ringgold Road north from Highway 41 in Ringgold. Drive approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Saunders Road and follow the signs.
From East Brainerd: Turn South onto Ooltewah/Ringgold Road, drive 3 miles South, turn right onto Saunders Road and follow the signs.