By Collin Kelley

I was sitting in my office at the Atlanta INtown office in Inman Park when I heard a strange noise coming from outside our backdoor. INtown’s offices are at Inman Alley, which, literally, backs up to the future BeltLine. The noise sounded like a train coming down the tracks, so I jumped up and ran outside to see some kind of machinery and a team of men coming down the track pulling up the old rail lines. I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of photos as the machine pulled up the tracks and the crew removed the wooden ties underneath. What were they doing?

A call to the Atlanta BeltLine offices provided exciting information. Crews are working in the Northeast and Southwest quadrants of the 22-mile BeltLine loop around the city to create the first hiking trails. The old rails and ties will be removed, graded and replaced with mulch to provide a walking surface. This part of the project is expected to be completed and open to the public in March.

The Northeast hiking trail will extend from DeKalb Avenue to 10th Street at Monroe Drive. The portion through Piedmont will be completed once renovations and expansion to the park itself are completed. The Southwest portion will run between Washington Park and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. BeltLine officials said this phase of the project does not include the light-rail portion, which is currently in the bid phase for design.

To keep up with all the BeltLine information, visit www.beltline.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

2 replies on “BeltLine hiking trails coming in March”

  1. Beltline trails will be great. I hope that they also make space for bicycles! This would be a great way to ride around town without the risk of car accidents.

  2. Beltline trails will be great. I hope that they also make space for bicycles! This would be a great way to ride around town without the risk of car accidents.

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