Explore a wildlife-filled wetland, following paved trails and boardwalks on this 2.5 mile, out-and-back run on the Ivy Creek Greenway at George Pierce Park. The greenway connects to the Suwanee Greenway, too, offering an even longer adventure and more scenic beauty.
LOCATION:north of Atlanta, Georgia
PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list
A recently-opened Ivy Creek Greenway segment offers excellent, fairly level running and walking trails as it winds through George Pierce Park in Suwanee. The greenway’s wide, gently meandering path varies little in elevation as it curves through wildlife and waterfowl-filled wetland over boardwalks and paved trails, making it a popular Atlanta-area fitness destination for runners and walkers.
Mostly level? Yes.
Car traffic and road crossings? None.
It’s one fantastic run – and one of our favorites in metro Atlanta. This stretch of the Ivy Creek Greenway isn’t incredibly long, spanning 2.5 miles, round trip. But the greenway’s southern end connects to the Suwanee Greenway, a 3 mile running and fitness trail that winds south to Suwanee Creek Park. The two trails, combined, offer ten out-and-back miles of gently rolling running and walking trails through a scenic forest – with only a single road crossing.
George Pierce Park: the run
The adventure begins at a trailhead on the park’s northeast corner (view maps and driving directions). The Ivy Creek Greenway turns right from the trailhead, following a wooden boardwalk and venturing south. (There’s a chance to fill your water bottle pre-run – or grab some water after you’re finished – at the picnic pavilion drinking fountain near the trailhead.)
The nearly-level trail dips elevation slightly, reaching the beginning of an extended boardwalk at .15 miles. The wooden boardwalk spans over a third of a mile, trailing westbound through a grassy, green marshland. The water-filled landscape fills with the echoing song of waterfowl, songbirds, and amphibians. Turtles bask in the sunlight-drenched shallows, and fish swim in small schools throughout the wetland.
The run meets pavement at a half mile, departing the boardwalk and turning left. The trail rolls elevation gently under a shady forest canopy. The Ivy Creek Greenway reaches a boardwalk at .7 mile. Hang a left here to take a short break, grabbing some scenic views from the large viewing platform at the boardwalk’s end. The wetland views open wide, and offer an excellent chance at spotting the many wildlife species that call these waters and grasses and small islands home.
Departing the boardwalk and viewing platform, the greenway winds through the forest, crossing two short stretches of boardwalk before reaching its end in a clearing at 1.25 miles. Up for some more distance? Extend your run by turning left here, climbing elevation on a wooden boardwalk to begin the Suwanee Greenway’s three mile stretch to Suwanee Creek Park. Or, turn to return to the trailhead, retracing the Ivy Creek Greenway to complete the run at 2.5 miles.
More of our favorite Atlanta running trails
There’s nothing better than an early morning run on the Chattahoochee River – and Cochran Shoals is our hands-down favorite trail to put in some scenic miles. Or catch beautiful skyline views of Midtown ATL on the winding and rolling paved trails at Piedmont Park. And escape crosswalks, sidewalks and traffic lights on our top ten Atlanta running trails, exploring some of our city’s most beautiful stretches while you’re catching a fantastic workout.
Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.
Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.
Free. Check the official park website for hours and closures.
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