The weather this summer has been such a comfortable climate, perfect for walks outside with the little ones. My 2-year-old son and I gathered some old friends (and former co-workers at Atlanta CVB) and took a leisurely walk on the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. This trail is the first finished section of the Atlanta BeltLine trail in the old rail corridor, running from the tip of Piedmont Park to Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward. The BeltLine connects many of Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods and also links to many of Atlanta’s existing parks and trails.
The Eastline trail runs along the railroad corridor from 10th Street and Monroe Drive near Piedmont Park down to Irwin Street near DeKalb Avenue. We started our adventure by meeting at Piedmont Park in the parking lot behind Park Tavern. (There is a parking meter with parking rates up to $5 depending on the day you go.) With strollers, baby carrier, scooters and bikes in tow, we passed by antique stores, parks, a smoothie shop, Ponce City Market, beautiful works of art and even went through graffiti-filled tunnels that the kids loved. There were also great views of the Atlanta skyline.
The BeltLine is perfect for biking, walking, running and roller blading. We saw many residents ditching their cars for fresh air, carrying bags of groceries along the scenic trail as they headed home.
After about an hour, we made it to our destination – lunch! We refueled at PURE Taqueria (What kid doesn’t love a cheese quesadilla and chips?), but there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from in Inman Park, including PARISH, Fritti and Sotto Sotto.
By the time we walked back from lunch, the kids were definitely ready for a nap – and so were we. We had such a fun time exploring the Atlanta BeltLine and can’t wait to go back.
Parks, Trails and Events
If we had continued a little farther east on the trail after lunch, we would have come to Old Fourth Ward Park featuring a playground equipped with climbing structures, slides, swings, rock walls and climbing areas; a splash pad with multiple jets of streaming water coming at your feet and over your head; a 2-acre lake, a skate park and plenty more. The splash pad is open daily, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., through Oct. 1
There are many other parks and trails along the Atlanta BeltLine.
There are also plenty of Atlanta Beltline events from trail yoga and aerobics to free, guided bike tours and nutrition walks. They even have classes for kids about how to ride a bike.
The Trail Ahead
• 2014 Lantern Parade - Celebrate the opening of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine with the annual Lantern Parade on Sept. 6. The parade route goes to Piedmont Park (2 miles) where everyone is invited to relax in the grassy lawn outside Park Tavern.
• 3-Mile Westside Trail – There will be 14 points of entry (11 of which will be ADA-accessible) with ramp and stair systems, greenway and preservation for future transit. The construction is expected to start this fall.
Check out this blog for other attractions, restaurants and stops along the Eastside Trail.
Sarah Johnson is a guest blogger for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB). She resides in Cumming with her husband and their 2-year-old son where they fill their free time exploring the fun, family-friendly activities and attractions in and around Atlanta.