Running in Atlanta

By: Emma Rosen– 2nd Year- Environmental Health-Epidemiology

As someone who is decidedly not a city person, I took a little longer to settle into Atlanta than most. One thing that unexpectedly helped me find some of my favorite spots was training for my half marathon this past fall. I will be the first to tell you that I am not a runner, just someone who runs (an important distinction in my mind), but I did a lot of running this fall. Here’s a picture of a fellow Rollins’ student and I in Piedmont Park, 13.1 miles later:

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Some prime Atlanta running spots:

  • Lullwater Park – Lullwater is just across the street from Rollins and is a beautiful wooded area with a lake, some waterfalls, and the University President’s house. The trails are a combination of dirt and paved, and it’s mostly flat with an option for a bit of climb. There are a number of different loops you can do, the longest being just over a mile or so. Lullwater definitely gets points for convenience and beauty.2

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  • Piedmont Park – Another obvious choice, Piedmont Park might be considered the heart of Atlanta. There are lots of paved paths through and around the park and it also gives you a chance to link up with the famed Beltline, though that can get crowded on some weekends. My race started and ended at the park so I did a lot of miles there. If you’re looking for a longer run, you can leave from campus and do a nice 10-mile loop that takes you around the park and back.

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  • Freedom Park – I think this is one of the most underrated running spots in the area. It’s a few miles from campus and there’s a central area with some neat art installations. I always thought that was the entirety of it, but it turns out that it extends for miles as a paved path along Freedom Parkway. You can go one direction and take it all the way down toward the MLK historic sites, another direction and hit Ponce, or go back towards campus through some nice greenery. You can also pick up the Eastside Beltline near Inman Park.5
  • Mason Mill Park/South Peachtree Creek Trail – Near the Clairmont/Mason Mill intersection, this park is sort of tucked away but it never gets too crowded and offers some lovely scenery. It’s entirely paved and only about 2 miles each way, but you get to check out the Decatur Waterworks (now covered in graffiti), Burnt Fork Creek, South Peachtree Creek, and Medlock Park.6

Happy running!

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