Running Trail Spotlight: South Peachtree Creek Trail

Short but sweet path weaves past ruins and over train tracks

For many joggers and walkers, the heat of summer brings a need to get off the asphalt and onto a shaded trail. If you’re lucky, you’ve got a scenic path in your neighborhood, but plenty of Atlanta trails are lovely enough to justify throwing the dog in the back seat and driving to them. Here’s one:

Location: Tucked off busy Clairmont Road, the South Peachtree Creek Trail connects Mason Mill and Medlock parks. There’s ample parking near the trailhead at the DeKalb Tennis Center off McConnell Drive.

Length: One mile in a single direction. A mile-long extension through the woods to North Druid Hills Road at Spring Creek Road is in the works for next year. Ultimately DeKalb County and the PATH Foundation hope to connect the trail to Emory’s Clairmont Campus, which in turn connects to Lullwater Park. A runner can dream.

Best Features: Though a short trail, it offers a romantic landscape—over active CSX tracks, past graffiti-covered ruins of the old Decatur Waterworks (provider of Decaturites’ drinking water from 1906 through the 1940s), through the lush trees along Peachtree Creek—and is book-ended by the thwop of tennis balls and the crack of aluminum bats at Mason Mill and Medlock parks, respectively. The winding boardwalk is a sight in itself.

Crowd Factor: The park-adjacent location and manageable distance lure a fair number of families, but it’s hardly the Eastside Trail. (Translation: No bobbing and weaving necessary.)