Run Atlanta: I Heard it Through the Beltline

July 21st, 2014 | In Local Running News, Run Reviews, Training

It is a waste of time, you might say, to dedicate a blog post of a series about runs in Atlanta to the most well-known run in Atlanta: the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta Beltline. But as I started in Piedmont Park this morning with the intention of mapping a route through Virginia Highlands (will hopefully come in a later post), I couldn’t help but run the Beltline instead. It’s so easy. Why worry about sidewalks and intersections when Atlanta has paved such a lovely path?

Besides, based on the scarcity of people I had to weave through on a beautiful Saturday morning, I suspect that not many of you were actually out there with me. I will admit, it’s not the most convenient place to run. I paid for parking in the SAGE lot by the botanical garden, and I was nearly taken out by a flock of wild toddlers in Piedmont Park. BUT it’s a fantastic run, much-deserving of its reputation, and definitely worth driving to.

My number one suggestion: go when it rains. This will empty the park of children and lollygaggers, and the lack of shade on the Beltline will be moot. If that’s not enough, the Park Tavern offers $1 draughts when it rains – a treat worthy of sprinting to.

Course Highlights:

  • The park, obviously, is gorgeous and traffic-free
  • The Beltline is FLAT for those of you looking for an easy jog (or easy sprint)
  • Some of the most stunning street art in the city fills the overpasses
  • A serene view of the cityscape gives way to a field of black-eyed Susans on your way down

Course Notes:

  • Total ascent: 197.82 ft.
  • Canopy: sparse shade – this is the one negative of the Beltline. Run early or run in the rain, as I encouraged above
  • Pit stops: if you ran in the rain, don’t miss Park Tavern at the end. Other concessions and restrooms are located throughout the park

Directions:

  1. From the parking deck, head southeast through Piedmont Park, skirting around the lake
  2. Make your way to the corner of 10th St. and Monroe Dr. (where Park Tavern is)
  3. Cross Monroe Drive to enter the Eastside Trail
  4. Run to the end, then turn around and run back
  5. Wind your way back through the park to your car, or relax at the lake for a bit

Add distance by:

  • Running the perimeter of Piedmont Park at the beginning and end
  • Repeating the Beltline (it’s fun enough to run all day)

 

Written by: Emily Overcarsh

2 People have left comments on this post

» Emily

Jul 28, 2014 at 12:07:28

The streets of Virginia Highlands have many options for free street parking. Granted, it may take a while to find on a gorgeous day, but is very close-by and an easy walk to Piedmont Park, Park Tavern, and the Beltline.

» Joe

Sep 3, 2014 at 11:09:47

I sometimes run the undeveloped part of the eastern Beltline, north of the Park Tavern parking lot. It’s unpaved, but quite shady and has some nice scenery. Some parts are somewhat “remote”, so not a bad idea to go with a friend. Passes by the bar at the end of Amsterdam if you need to stop for a brew.

Jake’s Ice Cream is off of Irwin Dr at the south end of the paved Eastside trail. Good place to cool off.