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.
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. Lake views break regularly through the trees.
At .3 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 waters of Murphey Candler Lake.
The trail turns southeast, passing some side trails offering neighborhood access to Murphey Candler Park. The trail exiting the forest canopy at 1.15 miles. Views of the lake open wide on the trail’s right side.
The view here at the lake’s northeast corner is one of the best in the park. The view stretches over the lake’s marshy fringes to the dry, woody opposite shore.
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 Murphey Candler 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 are Murphey Candler Park’s most visible wildlife. They’re common here on the western shore, gathered in groups, expectantly waiting for handouts of bread or crackers. 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.
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
Free parking is available at Murphey Candler Park.
33.909617, -84.326033 // N33 54.577 W84 19.562