Archive for the ‘Places to Run in Atlanta’ Category

Places to Run in Atlanta: PATH and Silver Comet

January 7, 2007

For those of you who live in the cool part of Atlanta, you have the PATH. The main part of the trail runs from near the Carter Center south of Ponce on its own paved trail (with sections on roads). I’ve only run a small part, but it goes all the way to Stone Mountain. That would be quite a run (17 miles, according to the website), and if you could get someone to pick you up at the end it would be a good way to do a long run.

I haven’t run the Silver Comet yet. I generally am wary of running on rail trails since there are so many cyclists and rollerbladers, but runners have just as much of a right to be there as anyone else.

On a larger note, I think it’s great that the Atlanta area is making places like this now, because before too many more years go by the growth and development will make it very difficult. There aren’t many cities in America right now that have the kind of resources and space that Atlanta has right now, and it’s important that the town takes advantage of it soon. Those who oppose projects like the Beltline should recognize the fact that the window of opportunity for projects like these will close before too many more years go by. A lack of foresight today will harm Atlanta’s ability to maintain its increase in national status in the future. Sorry for preaching, I’m done.

Places to Run in Atlanta: Chattahoochee National Recreation Area

January 5, 2007

If you live toward the Northern part of Atlanta metro area, the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area is a nice place for a run. It is strung out in small parcels along the river, and each area has its own little character. It’s hard to assemble long marathon-training runs of 18 or 20 miles, but for a few nice miles or interval work it is a good bet. Some of the trails are well marked, others aren’t. Some of the maps are good, others aren’t. Some of the places are safer than others (I gather they’re popular with teenage hoods after dark, and I’ve hard stories of the cars being vandalized at some places. This is conjecture and rumor).

Each area is a little different. I know that at the West Palisades section there are the ruins of an old mill, which is pretty cool.

I’m not going to give directions since there are different areas…here’s a link to the maps page of their website: http://www.nps.gov/chat/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Parking costs 3$, on the honor system. I suggest you pay if you don’t want them to sell the place to the developers. Some of the neighborhoods these places are in, they could fund a week in Iraq with the place.

Places to Run in (the area around) Atlanta: Stone Mountain Park

November 19, 2006

Here’s an update on some places to run around Atlanta. Everyone in Atlanta has probably heard of Stone Mountain (if you haven’t before, you just have). The road around the base of the mountain is mostly one-way and has one lane reserved for bikes and runners. It’s about five miles around, which means you won’t get bored on long runs.

It turns into two-way and can get kind of busy, but it’s not too too bad.

The “mountain” itself (if I understand correctly it’s actually a giant piece of granite) could be a lot of fun to run up if you wanted to get off the road. If you’re doing that plyometric stuff (the girls track coach at my high school was into it for a while) it would be more fun than stadium stairs. Plus you’d get lots of crazy looks from the normal people! Ha! The more I run the more I enjoy crazy looks from normal people.

Places to Run in Atlanta: Lullwater Park at Emory

October 8, 2006

The Great Emory Swamp isn’t the outright best place to run in Atlanta, but it’s pretty darn good. Flat pavement closed to vehicles gives way to an appreciably strenuous hill and a loop around (and through) the swamp lake that’s alternately pavement, gravel, and sandy trail. You can manage a very respectable run without repeating too much of the scenery. There are side trails off to Clairmont Campus, Clifton Road, and the access road between the two. Some recent construction work opened up a path to the access road to the Yerkes primate “research” center. Heeere monkey monkey monkey!

The large house at the top of the hill is home to the president of Emory University. I hate Mock Tudor architecture. Ick.

At most times of daylight there are people around–walkers, fisherpeople, undergrads playing frisbee, cross-country teams, and the occasional criminal. As far as I know, safety isn’t any more or less of an issue than it is anywhere else, but incidents have occured (although, like all Emory-related crime, it generally stays off the evening news). There are police call boxes scattered around.

Lullwater Park can be reached by going (on foot) through the wrought-iron gates on Clifton Road near the intersection with Gatewood. Alternately, it can be reached via a mulched trail behind one of farthest-back dorm on Clairmont Campus. Parking around Emory on weekdays requires a certain kind of creativity for those without the well-known sticker on the lower-left of the rear window, but it’s worth a look.

Places to Run in Atlanta – Piedmont Park

September 17, 2006

I went running late this morning in Piedmont Park. In Atlanta itself, there is no better place to run. This is partly because there is no other place to run, but there are few parks in other cities that are as interesting and pleasant. There are always lots of other people including other runners (many of which are faster than me), hot girls with cute little dogs, young families, spandex-clad bikers, and vagrants.

Like much of Atlanta, Piedmont Park is made up of little rolling hills that give just enough elevation to make the landscape interesting and the workout taxing. Designed by Frederick Olmstead, the famous landscape architect, the paths are wide and there are a lot of routes you can take. What’s nice is that none of them go in a straight line, and there aren’t so many of them that you’re constantly crossing intersections (I’m thinking of the Boston Common here, which has too much pavement).

The skyscrapers of Midtown rise overhead, and all around you get feel of being in a city. It’s a nice feeling that you don’t really get in a city that’s laid out like this. For short runs, evening strolls with the fiancee, or long weekend runs, Piedmont Park is always high on the list.

Practically speaking, parking can be a pain. I generally have luck in front of Grady High School, or in the parking lot of the Mellow Mushroom plaza across the street from Grady’s track.


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