What's the Newly Awaited & Largest Park in Atlanta?

(Hint: Watch an Episode of Stranger Things)

Bellwood Quarry at Westside Park
Bellwood Quarry at Westside Park

You've seen it on the big screen, or the little one, if you've watched Stranger Things, The Walking Dead or The Hunger Games.

But until now the Bellwood Quarry was only open to Hollywood. The new Westside Park, unveiled a week ago, makes it accessible to everyone. A massive 280 acres, it's the largest park in Atlanta, surpassing even Piedmont Park. The centerpiece is the celebrity quarry, whose high granite walls give way to inviting green water. But don't even think about swimming in there. First of all, you'd have to scale a huge fence, and you'd probably drown. Second of all, that's our emergency drinking water.

Bellwood Quarry at Westside Park
Bellwood Quarry at Westside Park

Shawn and I went on Friday to check it out. There is a free parking lot, so points for that. We didn't explore all of the park but chose the trail that would get us to the quarry the fastest. We passed a pavilion, playground, water filtration building, restrooms and about a dozen people. We had to compete for the money-shot selfie overlooking the quarry. But otherwise, it was far from crowded.

Westside Park, Atlanta
The new Westside Park
Westside Park
City of Atlanta Water Filtration Building

I was surprised by how pristine the park is. Bordering the cleared areas, much of the trees and grasses are wild, which is unusual to find in a city. Urban parks are normally very cultivated. And just listen to these cicadas! That's all you hear. No traffic, or sirens, or any urban noise. Just quiet.

We came across a small pond that served as a bathtub for Canadian geese. We clearly were walking into their home. I'm sure it won't be that way for long.