Murphey Candler Park Trail: top running spots in Atlanta

Murphey Candler Park Trail

Hike, walk, or run the scenic two-mile Murphey Candler Park Trail, circling the park's lake, marshland, and forest in Atlanta's Brookhaven neighborhood.

trail info

2 miles
(round trip)
easy
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:metro Atlanta, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes, Canon 6D Camera

The Murphey Candler Trail circles the Murphey Candler Park perimeter, exploring a wooded wildlife area before circling to trail a lake shore. This 2-mile loop is moderate with little elevation change, making it equally enjoyed by runners, hikers, and families with children out for a shady walk in the woods.

The Murphey Candler Trail sits in close proximity to the surrounding neighborhood and nearby highway, so visitors won’t get the secluded feeling that some Atlanta trails offer (like Sweetwater Creek or Sope Creek). It’s still a great trail, though, for a scenic run or hike inside metro Atlanta – and the trail is especially kid, dog, and family friendly.

Hiking, Walking and Running Trails at Murphey Candler Park in Brookhaven near Atlanta

Murphey Candler Trail: the details

The Murphey Candler Trail departs the Nancy Creek Drive parking area on Murphey Candler Lake’s southwest corner (view maps and driving directions), hiking north. The trail follows the contours of the lake’s western shore, passing through a picnic area under a widely diverse forest canopy. Towering pine share the forest with a wide variety of deciduous trees.

The trail departs the lake shore, veering right at .3 mile at an intersection before crossing a boardwalk. Small streams and marshland fill the northern shore of Murphey Candler Lake, a contrast to the dry, wooded terrain on the trail behind. Ivy climbs skyward, vining skyward on the trunks of large trees in this wet ecosystem.

The trail turns in a wide arc to the east before crossing North Fork Nancy Creek via a wooden bridge at .75 mile. Nancy Creek meanders along deep-cut banks, flowing south to feed Murphey Candler Lake.

The Murphey Candler Trail Crosses Nancy Creek

The Murphey Candler Trail turns southeast, passing some side trails offering neighborhood access. The hike exits the forest canopy at 1.15 miles, the lake re-appearing on the trail’s right.

The view here at the northeast corner of Murphey Candler Lake is one of the best in the park, stretching over the lake’s marshy fringes to the dry, woody opposite shore.

Hike, run or walk the Murphey Candler Trail at Murphey Candler Park near Atlanta

The hike continues trailing southeast, following the contours of the lake through a popular picnic area and crossing a bridge at 1.3 miles. This stretch of the Murphy Candler Trail contrasts the park’s opposite shore: here, a park hugs the sandy shore, a contrast to the wooded, natural northern shore. Several rose bushes dot the trail, scattered amongst benches.

Geese and Ducks on Murphey Candler Lake: Murphey Candler Trail

Ducks and geese are Murphey Candler’s most visible wildlife. They’re common here on the western shore, gathered in expectation of handouts of bread or crackers. The trail approaches Nancy Creek Drive, turning right at 1.5 miles to follow the road westbound and return to the trailhead parking area, completing the hike at 2 miles.

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Murphey Candler Park Trail Map, Directions & Details

Murphey Candler Park Trail Map
Murphey Candler Park Trail Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free parking is available at Murphey Candler Park.

GPS Coordinates

33.909617, -84.326033     //     N33 54.577 W84 19.562

Elevation Profile

Murphey Candler Park Trail Elevation Profile
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails is an official Leave No Trace partner

Please Remember

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

 
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.