Run Atlanta: Freedom Run

October 3rd, 2014 | In Featured, Run Reviews, Running Meets Life

For this run I decided to do a little pilgrimage of sorts: running Freedom Park Trail to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district. I started in Candler Park and simply followed the trail, which is a section of the Stone Mountain Trail, all the way to its end, then took a lap around King’s old neighborhood and headed back. In total it was around 6 miles.

This run has to be one of the best in the city. The trail is paved and clean, and it winds through parks and has great views of the downtown skyline. And then, of course, there’s the historic district, which I think is Atlanta’s greatest treasure. If you haven’t been in a few years, you should definitely run through. I stopped in my tracks when I reached MLK’s tomb. It was early on a grey morning, and the security guard and I were the only two there. I hovered for just a moment before running on, but it was a beautiful moment.

On my way back to Candler Park, I passed an elderly lady shuffling along who waved at me and said “Look at all of us women out here!” It was a day to be proud to be an Atlantan.

Course Highlights:

  • The historic district is, obviously, the most sacred neighborhood in the city – and one of the top in the country.
  • You can run past or rest at MLK’s tomb. You’ll also pass his church and childhood home.
  • The trail is an easy, peaceful place to run.

Course Notes:

  • Total ascent: 236.29 ft.
  • Canopy: variable
  • Pit stops: I didn’t keep an eye out for water fountains, but take a stretch break at the tomb


  • Park anywhere near Candler Park or Freedom Park
  • Find the trail markers and head West
  • There’s a split in the trail that connects to the Beltline – just keep going straight
  • When the trail ends at Jackson St., turn left
  • Left on Auburn Ave. (and take your time running through)
  • Left on Howell St.
  • Cross John Wesley Dobbs Ave. to reunite with Freedom Park Trail, and follow it east back to the start

Add distance by:

  • Starting on Stone Mountain Trail farther east
  • Looping around Freedom Park or Candler Park

Written by: Emily Overcarsh

MLK District Map

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