United States

Atlanta, Georgia

Our guide to running in Atlanta, including Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Major Neighborhoods and Suburbs

Flickr: Mike Schinkel

The greater Atlanta area is the 9th largest in the United States. It’s a a fast-growing, spread out city whose running scene has been improving. For our guide to running in Atlanta, it’s helpful to have a bit of a geographic orientation. Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead (uptown) form a north-south axis along Peachtree Rd. Just east of downtown are the streetcar suburbs, home to the Freedom Trail and some nice running in historic older neighborhoods. North of Atlanta, I-285 defines the ‘perimeter center’ and towns north are considered outside the perimeter. The best places to run in Atlanta, by area:

Downtown/MidtownPiedmont Park (our favorite place to run in Atlanta) the Eastside Beltline Trail, our Downtown Sights tour, and nearby Freedom Park.

East of Downtown: Just east of downtown in some of the historic streetcar suburbs are Grant Park Oakland Cemetery, and some nice neighborhoods for running. Further east is a lovely run around Emory University and the Decatur area.

North Atlanta/Perimeter: Several routes in Buckhead and neighborhoods in the ‘Perimeter Center’ (I-285) area, including Cumberland, Sandy Springs, and Dunwoody.

Outside the Perimeter: Stone Mountain is a great destination run, as is the Silver Comet Trail from Smyrna toward the Alabama border. We’ve also mapped some good routes in Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, and Suwanee.

Atlanta is a fairly car-centric city in terms of getting around, although the MARTA subway does serve the airport, downtown, and midtown. Note also that the weather can be brutally hot in summer, so run early and hydrate. By contrast, winters are mild and spring is absolutely gorgeous in Atlanta, with blooming azaleas and dogwoods.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Atlanta, Georgia

run in piedmont park

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is the Crown Jewel of the central Atlanta running scene. The 189 acre park was... more...

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run in piedmont park

Piedmont Park

Atlanta, GA

Piedmont Park is the Crown Jewel of the central Atlanta running scene. The 189 acre park was designed by Olmsted’s sons and features 4–5 miles of fairly hilly paved and gravel running trails, ranging from open meadows to wooded sections.
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Atlanta Beltline Trail

Atlanta, GA

A 3.4 mile section of The Atlanta BeltLine trail in central Atlanta. Accessible from Piedmont Park/Midtown area. Best section is 2 miles from Piedmont Park south to Irwin St. Festive, with lots of sights & places to grab a bite.
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Downtown Atlanta Tour

Atlanta, GA

A 6.7 mile tour of Atlanta’s downtown landmarks, starting from one of the downtown hotels. Centennial Olympic Park, The World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, The Georgia Dome, Aquarium, shops & restaurants.
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Freedom Park & Olmsted Linear Park

Atlanta, GA

Freedom Park is one of Atlanta’s large city parks. Our two green, shaded routes are the 2.5 mile Freedom Parkway Trail, and a 3.6 mile loop, starting at the Carter Library, to Chandler Park. Olmsted Linear Park can be added or loop option.
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Buckhead Area

Atlanta, GA

Our recommendations for the best places to run in Buckhead -- Atlanta's most prestigious neighborhood, featuring gracious older homes, winding residential streets, and lovely parks.
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Decatur and Agnes Scott College

Atlanta, GA

Decatur is a city northeast of Atlanta that has some good running spots. North of College Ave. is downtown and Woodland Gardens. South of College Ave., run around the campus of Agnes Scott College and surrounding residential streets.
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Stone Mountain Park

Atlanta, GA

One of Atlanta’s major recreational destinations, 15 mi. from downtown. Numerous running options, from a gentler 5-mile loop around the park perimeter to some more advanced trail running. Also great hiking and trail running options.
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run in piedmont park

Piedmont Park

Atlanta, GA

Piedmont Park is the Crown Jewel of the central Atlanta running scene. The 189 acre park was designed by Olmsted’s sons and features 4–5 miles of fairly hilly paved and gravel running trails, ranging from open meadows to wooded sections.
Explore

Freedom Park & Olmsted Linear Park

Atlanta, GA

Freedom Park is one of Atlanta’s large city parks. Our two green, shaded routes are the 2.5 mile Freedom Parkway Trail, and a 3.6 mile loop, starting at the Carter Library, to Chandler Park. Olmsted Linear Park can be added or loop option.
Explore

Atl Weather WP

Atlanta weather can be great or abysmal for running. Spring is a highlight, with blooming azaleas and dogwoods. Winters are temperate, usually quite runnable. As for summer, there’s the “Hotlanta” road race at the end of August, which should tell the story there. Seriously, be careful in summer. Very hot and humid.

Atl Combo stay

Atlanta is very spread out. There are clusters of hotels in downtown, midtown, Buckhead, Perimeter/Sandy Springs, and Cumberland. The maps below show running areas near downtown/midtown, and clusters of hotels near trails in the north.

There’s a great network of locally owned running stores in Atlanta — at least one for every major geographical area. Big Peach Running Company has 7 locations in greater Atlanta.

Downtown

Closest one is Big Peach in Midtown and Athletes Foot on Lee St. SW.

MidTown

Big Peach Running Co. GR Thursday 6:30 pm and Sat. 7:30 am.
Phidippides, near Piedmont Park. Group Rune Calendar.

Buckhead

New Balance
West Stride. Group Runs Calendar.

North

Athlete’s Foot, Cumberland Mall.

East/Decatur

Highland Runners
Fleet Feet Decatur. Group Run Wednesdays 6:30pm, Saturday 8am
Big Peach Running Co. Group Run Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:30pm

Alpharetta/Cobb

Big Peach Running Co. Group Runs Monday & Wednesday 6:30pm
Road Runner Sports Locations in Roswell Rd. NE, Marietta, and Norcross.
New Balance

Comprehensive event calendar, courtesy of Atlanta Track Club

Peachtree 10k
.  Apparently the largest 10k in the world. Every July 4