Bike, Run, Walk: Top Atlanta Trails

Happy Friday! What are your weekend plans? After some serious cube dwelling this week, mine include getting outside to enjoy some fresh air and summer sunshine.
Julie rocking the downhills in North Carolina
If I had to choose only one exercise to do for the rest of my life, mountain biking would win- hands down. Second to mountain biking is trail running - I think it's a primal instinct thing.

The good news: there are plenty of trail options super close to the city. You don't have to plan an overnight trip to get the benefits of the mountains. Since Atlanta is slow to embrace the share the road concept, the trails below are much safer and cleaner options for riding. Here are a few of my favorite trails you are bound to find me on any given weekend:

Single Tracks
  • Chattahoochee/ Sope Creek, Sandy Springs: my regular after work spot - the closest trail to the city and the best option if you’re short on time.  This trail is an out and back, including challenging climbs and a fun loop-d-loop at the end. It starts on a flat gravel path with a single-track cut-off into the woods.  The gravel path is great for a more laid bike run or ride.
  • Blankets Creek, Woodstock:  choose from easy, intermediate or advanced trail systems. Well maintained. Get there early if you want a spot to park.
  • Chicopee Woods, Gainesville:  this location includes multiple trails to choose from and is never overcrowded. I also enjoy trail running here because of the beautiful creek crossings and up and down terrain.
  • Gainesville College, Oakwood:  my hometown cross-country training course. Ally and I ran a 5-mile Dirty Spokes trail run here in the spring. For running, its a great 3-4 mile loop course. A few hills and lots of turns. For mountain biking, it's a great place to bring first timers and a nice workout for the more experienced.
  •  Silver Comet Trail, Smyrna: out and back paved path that goes forever so bring a picnic and make it a day.
  • Stone Mountain Park, Stone Mountain: great loop, super hilly. Run to the top of the mountain as a warm-up if you’re looking for intensity. There are also a few mountain bike trails here.
  • Big Creek Greenway, Alpharetta: super wide paved path winding along a creek bed. Very family friendly. Easy way to get in those extra miles. Bonus: there is a fantastic mexican restaurant up the street, Rio Nuevo Mexican Cantina . Perfect for a post-workout reward. Hold the cheese, corn tortillas please!
Of course there are a million more so check them all out and let me know your favorites!

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