Hike or run the Morningside Nature Preserve Trail in Atlanta to a sandy, dog-friendly beach and a tall swing bridge

Morningside Nature Preserve Trail

Hike or run the Morningside Nature Preserve to a sandy beach and tall swing bridge on South Peachtree Creek, and visit Atlanta's popular "dog beach".

trail info

TRAIL LOCATION: Morningside neighborhood in Atlanta

GEAR: REI Flash 18 Backpack w/ our favorite day hike gear and Canon 6D DSLR

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 offers a wonderful woodland retreat from the surrounding urban landscape of Atlanta, and a chance for Midtown residents to grab a bit of nature without a long drive.

Hike a suspension bridge over South Peachtree Creek at the Morningside Nature Preserve in Atlanta, Georgia

Morningside Nature Preserve: the hike

The hike departs a trailhead on 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 and descending a small ridge via wooden stairs.

The trail exits the wooded canopy and enters a clearing, where 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.

Top intown hikes and trail runs in Atlanta: explore Morningside Nature Preserve's suspension bridge over South Peachtree Creek

The shores of South Fork Peachtree are sandy and broad. 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 sandy shores are popular with dogs and their owners, earning the ‘dog beach’ nickname with Atlanta locals.

Explore the sandy shores of South Peachtree Creek at Atlanta's Morningside Nature Preserve, a great dog-friendly and kid-friendly intown hike or trail run

A beautifully constructed wooden suspension bridge arcs over the creek, leading to an extensive 2-mile network 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.

Top dog-friendly and family-friendly hikes in Atlanta: hike or run the scenic Morningside Nature Preserve Trail, crossing a tall swinging bridge over South Peachtree Creek

The western shores of South Fork Peachtree Creek comprise the majority of the hiking and walking trails at Morningside Nature Preserve. A trail network weaves 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 frequent these forested sections of the preserve.

Grab a great, scenic intown hike or trail run at Atlanta's Morningside Nature Preserve

Looping back to the suspension bridge over South Peachtree Creek, the hike completes the loop portion of this adventure and re-crosses the bridge. From the suspension bridge, the hike retraces its steps to the trailhead, completing at 2 miles.

More top hiking and running trails in Atlanta

Up for another great hike in the ATL? Explore some of Atlanta’s most scenic and beautiful trails, scaling to view-packed mountaintops and chasing whitewater and waterfalls on our top ten favorite Atlanta hiking trails. Or skip sidewalks and crosswalks and grab a great run on our top ten Atlanta running trails, including scenic runs along the Chattahoochee River at Cochran Shoals, and intown favorites on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and Piedmont Park.

Morningside Nature Preserve Trail : Directions & Details

Parking

Free.

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a cell phone signal to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

GPS Coordinates

33.809783, -84.352133     //     N33 48.587 W84 21.128

Driving Directions


Elevation Profile

Morningside Nature Preserve Trail Elevation Profile

Morningside Nature Preserve Trail Map

Trail data and photos © Summit19 Studio LLC. This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
 
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.