Chastain Park: running the Chastain PATH Trail
Run or walk the Chastain Park Trail, a 3+ mile PATH Foundation Trail. The paved, scenic trail runs a loop in Atlanta's Buckhead community.
Chastain Park is well known for its beautiful residential neighborhood and outdoor concert amphitheater – and it’s also well-known for recreation. Paved, color-coded trails loop through Chastain Park’s rolling landscape, traveling scenic stretches of the park’s perimeter. Paved and maintained by the PATH Foundation, the Chastain Part Trail is one of the most popular running and walking trails in Atlanta.
Chastain Park is tucked off Roswell Road in Buckhead’s northernmost stretches just inside Atlanta’s I-285 Perimeter, a short drive or moderate bike from Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. Much of the park’s trails stretch along the often-car-filled Powers Ferry Road and Lake Forest Drive, but the PATH does pack scenic beauty on the trail. The Chastain PATH skirts the North Fulton Golf Course’s rolling terrain and winds through the beautifully landscaped Chastain Park.
The Chastain Park Trail
The Chastain Park Trail is well-marked at intersections as the multiple trails merge and diverge around the park. They’re also signed occasionally for distance – a great feature for pace-training runners who aren’t tracking distance via GPS. Three loop trails provide varied distances: the Chastain paths include two 5k loops (the 3.1 mile red and blue trails) as well as a 3k (the 1.6-mile gold trail). The red and blue share a common path for most of their length, separating into distinct trails in Chastain’s northern stretches.
The Chastain Park Trail travels its most scenic stretch, the park’s eastern perimeter along Lake Forest Drive, crossing a bridge spanning a small creek. The trail winds along the stream’s landscaped banks, passing benches that provide resting spots nestled along the stream.
The northwestern stretches of the Chastain Park Trail yellow and blue PATHs depart Park Drive to skirt the banks of a pond, winding in a gentle southwestern arc along its tree-lined shores. Resident ducks and geese are a common sight here.
The Chastain Park Trail doesn’t escape traffic and the sounds of the city like some other Atlanta running and walking trails – like the unpaved and traffic-free 3.1 mile (5k) loop at Cochran Shoals on the Chattahoochee River. But the Chastain Park Trail is worth checking out for a workout on well-maintained, well-signed and paved trails in the Atlanta area.