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Bike Riding Atlanta – Awesome “The City In The Forest” Rides

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Atlanta is known for many things, such as Coca-Cola, peaches, and being hot in the summer. But you maybe didn’t know about all the great places to go cycling in Atlanta.

With its often hilly landscape and lush forest surroundings, this can be an ideal city for biking, especially if you want to combine urban cycling with scenic rides through nature. There are lots of trails to suit both short and long-distance cycling. And we have compiled a list with some of our favorites that are worth checking out.

9 Best Atlanta Biking Trails And Rides

1. Stone Mountain Trail

Stone Mountain Trail Flickr ImagePin
Courtesy: Ken Lund on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Stone Mountain Trail begins at Piedmont Avenue and Baker Street in Atlanta and runs around 19 miles to Main Street inside Stone Mountain Park.

This is a paved multi-use trail that travels through Freedom Park on the Freedom Park Trail and close to Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.

There are many places to stop along the way, for lunch or refreshments. When you get to Stone Mountain Park you can also continue your ride around the base of the mountain on the five-mile paved Ride Stone Mountain loop trail.

Bikes are not allowed on the mountain, but you can walk up on the one-mile path for amazing views of downtown Atlanta.

2. Vinings Loop

Vinings Loop is a roughly 21-mile paved road cycling route that begins and ends near the Chattahoochee River at Paces Mill. The trail loops through leafy residential streets and travels across and alongside creeks, including Peachtree Creek.

The route passes alongside Chastain Park, where you can extend your ride by looping around the park on the Chastain Park Trail.

This can also be a good spot if you want to continue on trails within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. This area has over seven miles of trails but some of them can be muddy, particularly the Sope Creek trails which are closed to cyclists for 24 hours after rain.

3. Silver Comet Trail

Silver Comet Trail Flickr ImagePin
Courtesy: 7263255 on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Silver Comet Trail begins just a few miles northwest of Atlanta in Smyrna, near the East-West Connector and South Cobb Drive. There is parking at the Mavell Road Trailhead.

This is a paved trail that stretches over 61 miles until it reaches the Georgia/Alabama border and links up with the Chief Ladiga Trail in Piedmont, Alabama. This means you can potentially extend your trip another 33 miles until the trail ends in Anniston, Alabama.

The trail follows the route of an old railroad and is quiet and away from traffic. However, it is a multi-use trail, so expect hikers, horses, and dog walkers. There are shorter sections you can do and simply turn around when you’re ready to head back.

4. Arabia Mountain Path

Arabia Mountain PathPin
Courtesy: TimothyJ on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Arabia Mountain Path (AMP) is a paved trail that stretches over 30 miles through the scenic Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area just east of Atlanta. The route travels through parklands and hillsides and past streams and lakes. There are even various historic landmarks to discover, so there is a lot to see.

There is parking available at various points on the trail, as well as restrooms, but the area can get busy, so parking can often be limited. The Arabia Mountain Path is a multi-use trail, so there will generally be walkers and other users. It can be important to keep to the right-hand lane while on the trail. 

This trail can also link with other trails including the South River Trail via the Panola Shoals Trail at Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

5. Chastain Park Trail

Chastain Park is a beautiful park in a scenic, leafy residential area of Atlanta with three color-coded trails that can be easily linked and looped. The Chastain Park Trail includes two 3.1 mile trails and one 1.6 mile trail and passes the golf course, tennis center, and the Cadence Bank Amphitheatre.

The trail is paved and free from traffic so it can be a relaxing place to ride. The shorter sections and frequency of places to stop (including a playground) also make it an ideal place to cycle with kids. 

If you’re looking for a longer road route, you can also join up with the Vinings Loop Trail which passes alongside the western edge of Chastain Park.

6. Nancy Creek Trail

The Nancy Creek Trail is roughly four and a half miles long and runs between Murphey Candler Park and Blackburn Park in the suburbs of Atlanta, ending at Durden Drive in Brookhaven. This can be a scenic trail, with the northern section of the route traveling alongside Murphey Candler Lake.

There are lots of trees for shade during the summer with beautiful colors to be seen during the fall. The route is mostly paved and there are picnic benches and places to stop, making it an easy, short route for beginners and families.

The trail is designed for mixed-use so you’ll usually find that you’re sharing the path with pedestrians.

7. South River Trail

The South River Trail is a seven-mile trail that runs alongside Sugar Creek and the South River. It is a paved trail that can begin at Georgia State University Perimeter College at Decatur and end at Constitution Road near Intrenchment Creek.

The trail passes through Gresham Park and can be a quiet place for a bike ride through natural scenery with lots of trees. The next section of the trail begins at Martin Luther King Jr. High School and extends east along the South River to connect with the Panola Shoals Trail.

From the Panola Shoals Trail, you can easily link up with the Arabia Mountain Trail at the Polebridge Trailhead. There is parking at both Panola Shoals and Polebridge trailheads.

8. Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park Flickr ImagePin
Courtesy: Mike Schinkel on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Piedmont Park is the largest park in Atlanta and can be an ideal place to bike with brilliant views of the Atlanta skyline and the beautiful Lake Clara Meer. The park features four miles of paved trails that are multi-use and can be ideal for families.

It can be an easy ride around the park with views of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as well as the Six Springs Wetlands. There are lots of places to stop with benches and relaxing views. You’ll also find several restrooms in the park.

For longer bike rides you can link up with other city trails on the Atlanta Beltline, including the Beltline Eastside Trail, which begins at 10th Street at the southeastern corner of Piedmont Park and runs three miles south to Kirkwood Avenue.

If you’re looking to further extend your ride, you can follow the Beltline Eastside Trail to the Freedom Park Trail to head east and eventually link up with the Stone Mountain Trail for a 40-mile round trip ride.

9. Atlanta Beltline

Atlanta Beltline Flickr ImagePin
Courtesy: Daniel Lobo on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Atlanta Beltline is a proposed paved multi-use trail stretching for 22 miles that will eventually loop around Atlanta. While the trail is not fully completed, there are a few sections that are currently open for hikers and bikers.

One short section is the Beltline Westend Trail that runs between University Avenue in southwest Atlanta and Lena Street, where it can link up with the Lionel Hampton Trail. This trail is paved and is away from traffic.

However, the Westend Trail does extend beyond University Avenue heading east and then north to eventually hit Kirkwood Avenue where it can link up with the Beltline Eastside Trail. But this section between the two trails is not yet paved. It is a wide dirt track.

Bike Rentals And Tours Around Atlanta

If you don’t plan to take your own bike to Atlanta, there are several places where you can rent one. The city also has many bicycle-sharing locations through the Relay Bike Share system which can be useful for getting around predominantly urban areas.

Atlanta Bike Laws

When riding around Atlanta you will need to make sure you follow bike laws for Georgia. However, this is merely a guide and not legal advice, so you will need to double-check the laws – including local laws – before you set off on the trails.

  • Helmets – all riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet while biking on any road, path, sidewalk, or trail in Georgia.
  • Alcohol – Riding a bike while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Georgia. A bicycle is classed as a vehicle in Georgia and you can receive the same punishment for riding intoxicated as you can for driving while intoxicated. You can receive a DUI charge while cycling if you are found to have any amount of any drug in your system or a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or above.
  • Group riding on roads is only allowed as a maximum of two abreast, except when riding on designated bike paths or bike lanes, or during cycling events when permitted by local law.
  • E-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph can be used on all bike paths except where local laws prohibit their use. When used on roads you must ride as close to the right-hand side of the road as possible, similar to a regular bicycle.
  • Road rules – Riders are required to keep as close to the right side of the road as safely possible, except when making a left turn or if the road is too narrow for a car to safely share the road. A front white light is required for cycling at night, along with a rear red light or rear red reflector. Additionally, it is illegal to cycle on the sidewalk unless you are under the age of 13.

Final Words

Atlanta can be a great place for a bike ride, whether you’re an avid road cyclist, mountain biker, or riding with your kids. There are lots of trails that are free of traffic, with scenic woodland surroundings, as well as lots of routes that can link with others for extended rides, both on-road and off.

These are just a few of our top cycling spots in Atlanta. If you have a better one, let us know. And if you want to help out your fellow cyclists, feel free to share this guide.

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Mark Whitley
Mark Whitley
I’m Mark, a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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