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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Murphey Candler Park Trail Map, Directions & Details
Free parking is available at Murphey Candler Park.
33.909617, -84.326033 // N33 54.577 W84 19.562