Hike, walk, or run the scenic two-mile trail at Murphey Candler Park, circling a small lake and exploring scenic marshland and forest in Atlanta’s Brookhaven neighborhood.
LOCATION:metro Atlanta, Georgia
Nestled in a wooded neighborhood just north of Atlanta, Murphey Candler Park spans over 100 acres of leafy forest, ballfields, and a small lake in Brookhaven. The park’s trail, a two-mile loop, circles the lake’s shore, offering a great spot to run (or a great in-town hike) with a scenic backdrop. It’s a great place for an afternoon stroll, with a good chance of spotting songbirds, geese, and wildflowers along its two-mile stretch. And thanks to its nearly-level elevation, it’s also one of our favorite places to run near Atlanta.
Since the trail sits in close proximity to the surrounding neighborhood and nearby highway, it doesn’t offer the secluded feeling that some Atlanta trails offer, like Sweetwater Creek or Sope Creek. But it’s a great trail, though, for a scenic run or hike in metro Atlanta. And the trail is especially kid, dog, and family friendly.
Murphey Candler Park: the run
The run begins at the Nancy Creek Drive parking area on the lake’s southwest corner (view maps and driving directions), venturing north and diving into a sun-dappled forest. The trail follows the contours of the lake’s western shore, passing through a picnic area and ducking through the forest canopy. Views of the lake’s rippling waters break regularly through the trees.
At a third of a mile, the trail veers right, departing the lake shore and crossing a boardwalk. Small streams and marsh fill the lake’s northern shore, a contrast to the dry, wooded terrain on the trail behind. Tendrils of ivy climb skyward, and amphibians frolick in the wet, creek-filled forest.
The trail arcs eastbound, crossing North Fork Nancy Creek over a wooden bridge at .75 mile. Nancy Creek meanders between its deep-cut banks, flowing south to feed the lake.
The trail turns southeast, passing some side trails offering neighborhood access to the park. The trail exits the forest canopy at 1.15 miles. Views of the lake open wide on the trail’s right side, one of the best lake views in the park.
The run continues its southeast-bound route, following the contours of the lake through a popular picnic area and crossing a bridge at 1.3 miles. This stretch of the park is sandy and sun-drenched. Several rose bushes dot the sides of the trail, and benches offer a great place to soak in the views after the run. Ducks and geese often gather here in groups on the western shore, basking in the sunlight and expectantly waiting for handouts of bread from park visitors, so please watch your step.
The trail reaches Nancy Creek Drive, turning right at 1.5 miles to follow the road westbound. Reaching the trailhead parking area, the run completes at a near-perfect 2 miles.
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.
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This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of Park Pride. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!
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Free parking is available.
33.909617, -84.326033 // N33 54.577 W84 19.562