Atlanta running trails: our top 10 favorite runs near Atlanta

Best Atlanta running trails – our top 10 favorite runs

Escape sidewalks and crosswalks on our favorite Atlanta running trails, all within 20 miles of the city.


Sure, pretty much every sidewalk in Atlanta offers a chance to run. But sidewalks meet crosswalks, and crosswalks meet Atlanta’s infamous car traffic. Atlanta’s best running trails wind through its many rolling parks – including Piedmont Park, Grant Park, Freedom Parkway and the Chattahoochee River trails north of the city – and offer a chance to rack up miles away from traffic.

This a list of our top ten Atlanta running trails. Some are paved, some are unpaved, but they’re all scenic, and they’re sure to add some beauty to your run. Most are medium distance and cover gentle, rolling elevation through some of Atlanta’s most popular parks.

Atlanta running trails: our top ten favorite runs

Grab your running shoes and enjoy a traffic-free, nature-filled run on these Atlanta running trails! New to trail running? Check out our trail running beginner’s guide for tips on getting started, from finding a great trail shoe and gear to trail safety and trail-friendly tips on your stride. And keep your motivation running high: sign up for a local 5k race, and follow our beginner 5k training plan and training tips to help get you to the starting line.

Atlanta Running Trails

Atlanta running trails: the Cochran Shoals Trail on the Chattahoochee River

Cochran Shoals Trail on the Chattahoochee River
3.1 miles / dirt trail / level

Cochran Shoals’ 5k trail follows the banks of the Chattahoochee River before looping back through marshland and meadow.

Piedmont Park Running Trail: 4-Mile Loop

Piedmont Park Running Trails
4 miles / mostly-paved trail / rolling hills

Explore Atlanta’s iconic Piedmont Park on this popular, steady-pace, mostly-paved 4-mile loop, running past Piedmont’s most traversed spots and a few hidden gems.

Silver Comet Trail: running near Atlanta

Silver Comet Trail
1 – 40+ miles / paved trail / flat and fast

Run a segment of the epic-length Silver Comet Trail near Atlanta. This rail trail spans more than 60 miles, stretching to Alabama, over flat, scenic terrain.

Running the Eastside BeltLine Trail: Atlanta running trails

Eastside Beltline Trail
4 miles / paved trail / level

Run the paved Eastside BeltLine Trail, trailing from Piedmont Park to Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward Park. Add 2.8 miles on the Eastside BeltLine Trail’s northern extension – an unpaved trail across Monroe Drive.

Running the West Palisades and Rottenwood Creek Trails in Atlanta

West Palisades Trail / Rottenwood Creek Trail
3.6 miles / paved trail / some hills

Run this paved trail (actually several joined Atlanta running trails) on the banks of the Chattahoochee River before swinging to follow Rottenwood Creek, a scenic tributary.

Running the Suwanee Greenway Trail in Gwinnett County

Suwanee Greenway Trail
6 miles / paved & boardwalk / level

Run through beautiful wetland on the Suwanee Greenway – a paved, gently rolling trail just north of Atlanta. Or grab more mileage – add the Ivy Creek Greenway at the trail’s end.

Running the South Peachtree Creek Trail near Decatur

South Peachtree Creek Trail
2 miles / paved & boardwalk / some hills

Run creekside on the PATH Foundation’s South Peachtree Creek Trail in Decatur, rolling elevation on the trail’s first half before running an extended, level, shady boardwalk on the second.

Running the Cheatham Hill / Kolb Farm Loop Trail near Kennesaw Mountain

Cheatham Hill / Kolb Farm Loop Trail
5.8 miles / dirt trail / hills

Run this unpaved loop trail in the shadow of nearby Kennesaw mountain through meadows, forest and Civil War battlefields.

Run two miles on the Northside BeltLine paved trail in Atlanta

Northside Beltline Trail
2 miles / paved / level

Run the paved Northside BeltLine off Collier Hills Road in Atlanta beside the tumbling Tanyard Creek.

Run 2.8 miles on the paved Tribble Mill Park Trail in Gwinnett County

Tribble Mill Park Trail
2.8 miles / paved / some hills

Run Tribble Mill Park’s paved trail around the tranquil waters of Ozora Lake in Gwinnett County just north of Atlanta.

Run the 5k loop at Chastain Park in Buckhead

Chastain Park Trails
3 miles / paved / some hills

Run the PATH Foundation’s popular Chastain Park running trail, a 5k paved loop near Buckhead.

Run the Murphey Candler Park Trail in Atlanta

Murphey Candler Park Trail
2 miles / dirt / level

This easy 2 mile trail circles Murphey Candler Lake in Brookhaven, trailing through gently rolling, shady forest before crossing through the park’s picnic areas.

(All Atlanta running trail distances are total trail distance: total loop or out-and-back mileage.)

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.

Get outside, Georgia! #atlantatrails

Find the best outdoor adventures in the southeast! Our Georgia trail map search highlights our favorite adventures on a searchable map. Or check out our favorite Atlanta hiking trails, our favorite North Georgia hiking trails, the best hikes to Georgia waterfalls, and our favorite Atlanta running trails for more great ideas on how to get outside.

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