15 Best Running Trails In Atlanta You Can Visit Today
There’s nothing quite like running outdoors. It just beats running on a treadmill. It’s the sense of momentum, the fresh air, and the freedom to go wherever you want.
Even better when you’re running on a trail that boasts breath-taking views from start to finish.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the 15 best running trails in Atlanta that you need to visit.
These Atlanta and surrounding Georgia running trails offer stunning views, a range of trail difficulties for all fitness levels, and, best of all, no cars. Check the trails out below and make sure to head to one of them for your next run.
15 Best Running Trails In Atlanta
1. Atlanta BeltLine Trail
The Atlanta BeltLine encircles the city of Atlanta in a 22-mile loop that’s ideal for runners of all abilities. It offers a mix of urban and green spaces, connecting various neighborhoods and parks.
The trail is mostly flat and paved, and boasts stunning views of the city skyline, plus some of Atlanta’s famous landmarks.
With 22 miles of flat pavement, the Atlanta BeltLine Trail sets up the perfect training ground for running – no matter whether you plan on clocking 5k, 10k, or a half marathon.
Complete the loop and run an extra four miles and you’ll have done a full marathon!
2. Eastside Trail
The Eastside Trail is a great place for running in Atlanta.
This flat 3-mile stretch of the Atlanta BeltLine spans from Piedmont Park to the Old Fourth Ward, setting the scene for both 5k runs and 10k runs (running to Old Fourth Ward and back to Piedmont Park).
The Eastside Trail is one part of the Atlanta BeltLine that boasts great city views. There are fountains if you need to top up your bottle, as well as park areas and several neighborhoods to take in along the way.
3. Piedmont Park Trail
Piedmont Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Atlanta, which is another hotspot for running and cycling.
The park spans over 180 acres with multiple trails and paths for runners to explore. The paved loop measures 4 miles, with scenic views of trees, ponds, and grassy expanses.
Like the Atlanta BeltLine, the Piedmont Park Trail offers fountains and other amenities, like toilets, if you need to take a break. Either way, it’s perfect for runners of all abilities, since it’s mostly flat!
Piedmont Park is a secret paradise for those seeking the best running spot in Atlanta. There are also free group runs that are open to anyone and all fitness levels.
4. Silver Comet Trail
Although technically outside of Atlanta, this 61.5-mile trail is worth mentioning. It starts near the city and extends westward, offering a scenic route for long-distance running.
This trail is popular for running and cycling. It runs Smyrna, Georgia to the Alabama state line, which is perfect for the ultra-marathoners out there!
The best thing is that the Silver Comet Trail is also paved and flat. It’s a scenic route with views of small towns and forests, and there’s even markers for every mile so you can track how far you run.
5. Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve covers 120 acres of lush, natural beauty. But for runners, the Outer Loop is where it’s at, measuring 4.2 kilometers.
It might sound easy (especially if you consider 5k a warmup), but this trail is hilly and rocky in some areas.
As a result, it’s a slightly difficult running trail in Atlanta, but it can be a great training ground if you want to improve the strength of your calves and increase your cardiovascular endurance. You may even spot wildlife running the Outer Loop Trail!
6. Cochran Shoals Trail
Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the Cochran Shoals Trail is a perfect 5k loop that’ll treat you to lots of natural scenery, including meadows, marshlands, and rivers.
It’s also a level trail, making it great for beginner runners.
Cochran Shoals Trail is a favorite among local Atlanta runners for its scenic views, peaceful ambiance, and proximity to the Chattahoochee river, and it can get crowded.
So if you tend to run with music playing in your ears, just make sure to be aware of your surroundings!
7. Palisades West Trail
The Palisades West Trail is also part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, measuring at 3.6 miles for a full circuit.
It’s just as much a popular hiking trail as it is a running trail, which makes it a good challenge if you plan on tackling it in your running shoes.
Along the trail, there are lush forest trees, scenic river views, and plenty of benches to take a rest. You’ll need to rest or pace yourself, as the trail does feature some inclines and declines.
8. Palisades East Trail
There’s the Palisades West Trail, then there’s the Palisades East Trail – another popular trail in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. This one measures at 3.4 miles for a full circuit, making it great for those 5k runs.
However, similar to the Palisades West Trail, some incline and decline areas along the trail can increase the difficulty. But if you find 5k runs easy, the Palisades East Trail is the best running route in Atlanta to give you more challenge!
9. Arabia Mountain Trail
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a scenic natural area situated east of Atlanta. The mountain covers more than 2,500 acres, but for runners, the Arabia Mountain Top Trail is the place to go, which totals at 1.3 miles for a round trip.
Needless to say, it’s not flat, but it does present a great challenge for adventure runners who run for distance, not speed. There are also other trails to explore on the mountain, all of which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
So, if a mountain trail is your thing, then this is one of the best places to run in the Atlanta area!
10. Suwanee Greenway Trail
The Suwanee Greenway Trail in Suwanee Creek Park is not far from central Atlanta, offering 4 miles of winding paths through meadows, woods, and wetlands.
It’s super scenic, for that reason, and is perfect for runners who like to run in peace. It’s a perfect running spot in Atlanta to enjoy a leisurely jog, a brisk run, or a peaceful stroll surrounded by nature’s beauty.
On top of that, the Suwanee Greenway Trail is mostly flat and wide, making it an easy trail to just switch off and run on autopilot. There are benches if you need to rest, plus local wildlife to spot in the trees.
11. Cheatham Hill Loop Trail
Kennesaw Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts located northwest of Atlanta.
Among its 2900 acres of natural beauty, the Cheatham Hill Loop Trail is a great spot for runners, measuring 5.8 miles for a full up-and-down circuit.
Because of that, the Cheatham Hill Trail offers a perfect 10k run, with lots of scenery to take in along the way.
Kennesaw Mountain is also a historic location to run in Atlanta, as it witnessed the Battle of Kennesaw in the mid-19th century.
The Cheatham Hill Loop Trail combines natural beauty, historical significance, and a moderately challenging running experience. It’s a popular running spot in Atlanta for those seeking both a scenic workout and an opportunity to learn about the area’s history.
12. Tribble Mill Park Trail
Tribble Mill Park is a 700-acre park located northeast of Atlanta. It’s popular for a range of outdoor recreational activities, and, of course, this includes running!
The 3.4-mile paved trail in Tribble Mill Park is a popular walking, running, and cycling spot, which winds around the lake at the center of the park.
It’s a pleasantly flat 5k for beginner and advanced runners, with even more running trails to explore around the park. This might be the spot if you are an explorer looking for more running routes in Atlanta.
Additionally, Tribble Mill Park is known for its disc golf course.
13. Murphey Candler Park Trail
Murphey Candler Park is located northeast of Atlanta. This stunning 135-area park sets the scene for various recreational activities, such as picnicking and fishing, but it’s also a great spot to get running.
Like Tribble Mill Park, Murphey Candler Park has a central lake that’s popular for running around, measuring 2 miles for a full loop. The trail has a paved surface, making it ideal for runners seeking a smooth running experience.
It’s not the only trail in the park either, so go exploring if you’re looking for a longer trail or even a tougher challenge!
14. Island Ford Trail
Like the Cochran Shoals, West Palisades, and East Palisades Trails listed above, the Island Ford Park Trail is also located in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
It measures 3.3 miles with a mix of paved and natural terrain, which keeps the runs exciting!
Along the Island Ford Park Trail, you’ll enjoy picturesque views across the Chattahoochee River, with parts where you’ll be surrounded in forest.
It’s not a 100% flat 5k, but it is awesome if you’re a nature lover and want to give your feet a challenge. This Atlanta running route is a great way to prepare for your next 5K race.
15. Stone Mountain Trail
Stone Mountain Park is situated east of Atlanta, and is best known for the giant monolith that sits in the middle of the park.
And if you’re yet to see it, the Stone Mountain Trail is the perfect opportunity to do some sightseeing while running in Atlanta!
It’s not a short trail, however, as it comes in at 19 miles (30 kilometers). But if you’re no stranger to marathons, the trail can be completed at a leisurely place with plenty of places to take a break and rest.
The Bottom Line
And there you have it: the 15 best running trails in Atlanta that you need to visit for your next run.
These popular Atlanta running trails boast stunning scenery and flat or hilly terrain for all fitness levels.
There are indeed many places to run in Atlanta for an energetic workout or an easy jog. So what are you waiting for? Lace-up your running shoes!