Take a scenic walk or run at Chastain Park, following a 5k route through the beautifully landscaped park. It’s one of our favorite Atlanta running trails, and one of our top places to run in Buckhead.
LOCATION:metro Atlanta, Georgia
Chastain Park is well known for its beautiful residential neighborhood and outdoor concert amphitheater. And it’s also well-known for recreation, with a pool, golf course, tennis center, and horse park. Throughout the park, color-coded trails loop through the Chastain’s rolling landscape, exploring the scenic stretches of the park’s landscaped perimeter. Paved by the PATH Foundation, it’s one of the most popular running and walking trails in Atlanta.
The park is tucked off Roswell Road in Buckhead’s northernmost stretches, just inside Atlanta’s I-285 Perimeter – a short drive or moderate bike ride from Midtown Atlanta. While most of the park’s trails border the often-car-filled Powers Ferry Road and Lake Forest Drive, the trail does score ample scenic beauty, skirting the rolling terrain of North Fulton Golf Course and winding through the beautifully landscaped park. It’s a great spot for a 5k run or scenic walk, and one of our favorite running spots near Buckhead.
Chastain Park Trail: the run
The trail is well-marked at intersections as the multiple trails merge and diverge around the park. The trails are also signed for distance – a great feature for pace-training runners who aren’t tracking distance via GPS. Three color-coded loop trails offer varying distances, including two 5k loops (the 3.1 mile red and blue trails) as well as a 3k (the 1.6-mile gold trail). The red and blue share a common path for most of their length, separating into distinct trails in the park’s northern stretches.
The trail explores its most scenic stretch on the park’s eastern perimeter along Lake Forest Drive. Along this stretch, the trail crosses a bridge spanning Nancy Creek, catching views of the creek’s rocky banks and pebble-lined bed. Benches offer shaded resting spots nestled along the stream, perfect for a post-workout cool off.
The northwestern stretches of the park’s yellow and blue trails skirt the banks of a pond, winding in a gentle southwestern arc along its tree-lined shores. Ducks and geese are a common sight here, and fish bask in the pond’s sunny shallows.
The trail doesn’t completely escape traffic and the sounds of the city, especially compared to some of our other favorite Atlanta running trails like the unpaved and traffic-free 3.1 mile (5k) loop at Cochran Shoals. But the trail is well worth the visit for a workout on a well-maintained, well-signed and paved trail in the Buckhead area.
More of Atlanta’s best running and walking trails
Escape sidewalks and crosswalks on our top ten running trails in Atlanta, including the scenic banks of the Chattahoochee River, our city’s iconic Piedmont Park, the epic-length Silver Comet Trail, and the ultra-popular Eastside Trail on the Atlanta BeltLine.
Training for a 5k race? Our 5k training plan for beginners details the workouts and training you’ll need to reach your goals at the finish line, with beginner-friendly tips for getting started.
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. Love the trail? Please support the Chastain Park Conservancy with a donation or by becoming a member.
33.876272, -84.3974133 // N33 52.576 W84 23.845