Morningside Nature Preserve: Atlanta Walking, Hiking & Running Trails
Hike, run or walk the Morningside Nature Preserve Trail on the banks of South Fork Peachtree Creek in Atlanta's Morningside neighborhood.
Tucked into the northern fringes of Atlanta’s upscale Morningside neighborhood, the Morningside Nature Preserve is a hidden yet well-loved matrix of hiking, walking and running trails that traverse over 30 acres of rolling forest.
Preserved by dedicated neighborhood residents and The Nature Conservancy in the mid-2000s, the Morningside Nature Preserve provides a fantastic woodland retreat from the surrounding urban landscape, and a chance for midtown Atlanta residents to grab a bit of nature without a long drive.
Morningside Nature Preserve Trail: the details
The hiking trail departs the trailhead alongside Lenox road (view maps and driving directions), climbing steadily in a clearing beneath power lines. The trail turns right to cross the clearing, entering the wooded forest to descend a small ridge along a series of wooden steps.
Exiting the wooded canopy and entering a second clearing, a small trail marker at .25 mile points left. Here, the trail hikes through a cleared meadow filled with a tangled landscape of kudzu and waist-high grasses and brush. The Morningside Nature Preserve trail curves a gradual right, reaching South Fork Peachtree Creek at .5 mile.
The shores of South Fork Peachtree are wide and sandy. The creek meanders sharply through the forest, carving a steep-walled shore on the opposite side while slowing to drop sandy sediment on the east bank. These wide, sandy shores are popular with dog owners, earning the ‘dog beach’ nickname with Atlanta locals.
A beautifully constructed wooden suspension bridge arcs over the creek, leading to an extensive 2-mile complex of hiking and walking trails on the western banks of the creek. The trail crosses the bridge to continue hiking the Morningside Nature Preserve Trail.
The western shores of South Fork Peachtree Creek comprise the majority of the hiking and walking trails at Morningside Nature Preserve. A network of trails weave over terraced ridges flanking the shores of the creek and cross several small streams. Keep an eye out for wildlife here; foxes, beavers, birds, turtles and raccoons are sometimes sighted in these forested sections of the preserve.