BEST SPOTS: To Run in the City | Sports & Recreation
ATLANTA -- For this week's edition of Best Spots, we have compiled a list of best places to run for beginners, intermediate and advanced runners.
Recently, running has risen in popularity due to people discovering the different benefits it offers. Running has been proven to lessen stress, aid in weight loss and can serve as a method of meditation. According to the Seattle Times, 26.5 million people in the US run 50 days out of the year.
- Beginners Routes
The Silver Comet Trail is known as “the only truly flat place you can run in Atlanta”. The trail starts near Mavell Road in Smyrna and runs all the way to the Georgia/Alabama line, near Cedartown and Esom. The trail is a favorite among runners searching for a leisurely stroll and good scenery. The PATH Foundation, which is the foundation that helped create the trail, advises runners to bring plenty of water to drink for you and your pet because some of their water fountains don’t work. The Silver Comet trail has a number of entry points in Cobb, Polk and Paulding.
Atlanta Memorial Park in Buckhead is a 1.8 mile path that completely loops the park, which makes it easy for beginning runners to keep track of their progress. The track is relatively flat and offers a close up view of The Bobby Jones Golf Course and the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center. The trail, also, features a bike trail so it’s ideal for marathon and triathlon trainees. Also, the path is relatively shaded. The park is located at 384 Woodward Way.
The Chastain Park loop is also a favorite. This three-mile-loop goes around the entire park and is, kind of, hilly. The trail is paved. This path offers a scenic run in a safe park in the Buckhead neighborhood; however, the park has the tendency to become pretty crowded. Runners can watch everything from concerts to little league baseball games. The park is located at the intersection of Stella Drive and Powers Ferry Road in Buckhead.
- Intermediate Routes
The Chattahoochee is a favorite scenic trail for some runners. The Chattahoochee trail is pretty “nice and flat for short runs and harder efforts”. There are a number of trails in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, so runners can handpick their route or make it up, along the way. According to the Georgia Marathoner, “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”. This park is home to a lot of pretty cool river views and bike paths. The park is located at 1978 Island Ford Parkway.
The Piedmont Park Conservancy offers four running paths from joggers jogging at Piedmont Park. All of these paths are intermediates and easy going, for the most part; however, there are some stretches of difficulty. Paths range from the .70 miles to 1.68 miles long. The Park Loop, which is the 1.68 mile long route, has the greatest amount of elevation but this trail remains a favorite because it rounds the entire park. Piedmont Park is located at 10th Street and Monroe Drive.
Most inTown folks enjoy the Beltline Trail along Freedom Parkway. Due to the ongoing construction, runners many not be able to predict what type of elevation to expect along the trail or what types of blockage they may encounter. The Beltline is about nine miles long and it runs through VaHi, Inman Park, Kirkwood, Buckhead, East Atlanta, Grant Park and Midtown. Runners can pick this trail up at numerous points around the city.
- Advanced Routes
According to the Georgia Marathoner, “The flat pavement which is closed to vehicles gives way to an appreciably strenuous hill and a loop around the lake that’s alternately pavement, gravel and sandy trail” make Lullwater Park at Emory one of the best places to run in Atlanta. The path is designed to allow runners the freedom to run different routes, every time, and to not repeat the same scenery more than once or twice during a run. This park is usually pretty populated during the day and it's even pretty safe, at night. Lullwater Park is located at 855 Briarcliff Road in Atlanta.
Many Brookhaven running enthusiasts enjoy running around the Capital City Country Club in Historic Brookhaven. This route is pretty hilly and challenging; it is described as "a great training run". Groups from the area Big Peach Running Store meet at this location and run, every week. The club is located at 53 W Brookhaven Drive in Atlanta.