Run two creekside out-and-back miles on the raised boardwalk South Peachtree Creek Trail from Decatur’s Mason Mill Park.
The paved South Peachtree Creek Trail isn’t the longest running trail in Atlanta at a single mile. But this Decatur-area PATH Foundation trail does rack up major points for its scenic beauty, traveling a good bit of its length on a raised wooden boardwalk that winds through the shady trees beside South Peachtree Creek. This popular running and walking trail spans one mile from Mason Mill Park to Medlock Park, crossing only a single, quiet neighborhood road.
The trail’s elevation varies between its halves, the first mile challenging with moderate elevation loss and gain as it descends into a railway corridor and then rises into a hilly forest. The trail’s second half elevation steadies when the South Peachtree Creek Trail crosses a raised boardwalk that meanders through shady trees. It’s not a long run, but a beautiful one, sandwiching a mile of level running between a hilly start and finish.
The trail departs its western trailhead near Mason Mill Park’s tennis center (view maps and driving directions), running pavement to a trestle bridge that spans an active rail line. The trail crosses the bridge, pivoting twice to descend elevation on a boardwalk to the now-graffiti-covered Decatur Waterworks ruins.
The trail crosses a bridge spanning Burnt Fork Creek before gaining elevation, winding on pavement through a wooded forest. Side dirt trails depart the paved trail, visiting South Peachtree Creek and its tributaries – a chance to add some off-pavement mileage to the run.
The trail meets South Peachtree Creek at .6 miles, its surface turning to wooden boardwalk. The trail runs through the forest on its raised wooden platform, catching shade beneath the forest canopy and skirting the back yards of nearby neighborhoods.
The trail crosses a neighborhood road at .9 miles, winding the final level stretch to the ballfields of Medlock Park before turning to return to the trailhead. The run completes at 2 miles after climbing the train trestle boardwalk, reaching the Mason Mill Park trailhead.
Free parking is available at Mason Mill Park near the South Peachtree Creek Trailhead
33.806067, -84.305250 (N33 48.364 W84 18.315)