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15 ways to spend the day outdoors

From hiking trails to nature preserves, it's time to leave the house

Acg Nature Magnum
Photo credit: Joeff Davis

When spring and summer make their presence known it can feel like the population of Atlanta doubles with a simple seasonal change. Runners are out training for the Peachtree Road Race, bikers are everywhere, and Piedmont Park is more than likely overrun with people from all walks of metro area life hailing from 10th Street to Smyrna. So where does one go if they’re trying to get in touch with nature, take a hike, or have a picnic? We’ve got some ideas.

Park

The paved and popular 2.25-mile path is part of the larger 22-mile loop of parks, trails, and transit known as the Atlanta Beltline that is changing the city for the better. The Eastside Trail provides a direct route from Midtown to Inman Park/Old Fourth Ward in minutes, a feat unheard of by car in ... | more...

Trail

With the opening of the Northside Trail in April 2010, the neighborhoods around Collier Hills are now linked by a continuous mile-long trail. The updated trail traverses the Howard Property, “Cathedral Woods,” and Bobby Jones Golf Course, from Ardmore Park to Atlanta Memorial Park through Tanyard Cr... | more...

Park

Enjoy the rustic charm of this former railroad corridor winding behind old warehouses, historic neighborhoods, and under bridges while you can. More than $40 million is expected to be spent turning this overgrown gem between Washington Park and Adair Park into a glimmering multi-use path. | more...

Tourist Attractions

Atlanta's most fragrant attraction blooms with more than 3,000 ornamental plants spread over 30 acres adjacent to Piedmont Park, including a rare 15-acre urban forest. There is a 600-foot Canopy Walk situated 40 feet high, and regular exhibitions and concerts in the gardens. | more...

Park

The 200-acre park winds along Peachtree Creek in one of Atlanta's loveliest neighborhoods. It includes a running trail, fields, playgrounds, 23 tennis courts (at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center), and the Bobby Jones Golf Course. | more...

Park

A small lake located in the heart of Avondale Estates with a lovely landscaped walking path around its perimeter. | more...

Park

Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the 120-acre woodland and former Creek Indian settlement features steep inclines, a babbling creek, a waterfall, and is home to deer and more than 150 native plant species. It includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the rema... | more...

Park

It's hard to go wrong with any of the 'Hooch's national recreation areas. For sheer versatility — and convenience — Columns Drive and Johnson Ferry Road is one of our favorite spots. Located just OTP at the bottom of the long-and-winding Riverside Drive, you'll find a flat, wide 2.5-mile paved thoro... | more...

Park

Spanning a whopping 210 acres, this is one of the largest city parks in Atlanta. Dog walkers can admire the park's permanent art installations along the walking trails. Bicyclists can follow its network of multi-use paths to some of the city's coolest neighborhoods — or link up with the Atlanta Belt... | more...

Park

The 131-acre greenspace that gave the surrounding neighborhood its name is arguably the city's most mellow and picturesque. On weekends, it's a stomping ground for family reunions and one of Atlanta's most popular farmers markets. | more...

Tourist Attractions

A 2,965-acre park and museum on the site of the 1864 Civil War Campaign for Atlanta. | more...

Park

Formerly called the Wildwood Forest, it's a 31-acre woodland plot that was saved after citizens fought to protect the rare and pristine oasis in the city. The nearly mile-long trail is a pleasant trek for hikers and cyclists — and the suspension bridge spanning the South Fork of Peachtree Creek is w... | more...

Park

The result of a public-private partnership between the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and Fernbank Inc. that includes six segments — Oak Grove, Shadyside, Virgilee, Dellwood, Springdale, and Deepdene. It was the brainchild of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. in 1890. | more...

Recreation Center

This 26-acre urban nature preserve includes about 2 miles of trails, as well as a team-building ropes course, and a children’s nature-themed playground. Among the learning facilities are a tree house classroom, a 650-gallon freshwater aquarium, and a multipurpose building. Adjacent to the facility i... | more...

 
The list above first appeared in the 2015 CL Cityguide and was updated by CL Staff recently.



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