Your Guide to the Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail

The Atlanta BeltLine is a destination. With a head count of about 2 million a year, the Eastside Trail draws locals and tourists alike. They come for the award-winning restaurants. They come to take selfies in front of unique artwork. They come to see and be seen. Yet there isn’t really a guide to the Atlanta BeltLine. Where do you park? Where do you even start? Is it safe? Even metro Atlantans don’t always have these answers.

Here is a guide to the Atlanta BeltLine, from parking to restaurants, with some answers to commonly asked questions. Here is your Atlanta BeltLine 101.

What is the Atlanta BeltLine?

It’s an abandoned railroad corridor paved over into a walking/biking/jogging trail. When completed, it will circle Atlanta for 22 miles, connecting the city’s neighborhoods and parks, so that one day, you will be able to ride a bike from one end of the city to another. So that Atlantans don’t have to get in their car to go to dinner or grocery shopping. The project is the brainchild of Ryan Gravel, as outlined in his Georgia Tech master’s thesis in 1999, and later adopted by the city of Atlanta. A key component of the BeltLine from the outset has been a streetcar or light rail. However, transit is a dirty word in Atlanta, so it remains to be seen if this will come to fruition in the way that Ryan Gravel envisioned. We can only hope.

How long is the Atlanta BeltLine?

Eventually, the Atlanta BeltLine will form a 22-mile circle around Atlanta. When you add in connecting parks, it’s 33 miles. To date, though, only a few sections have been completed. See below for details.

How much of the Atlanta BeltLine is completed?

Several segments of the planned 22-mile trail have been completed, with other parts open to the public as interim trails. Interim can mean it’s paved but without lighting and other features, or it can simply be a dirt hiking trail.

On the eastside, the Atlanta BeltLine is paved from Piedmont Park to Memorial Drive, which is about 3.1 miles. Another section behind Ansley Mall is open to the public but not completed, and connects to the Northeast Trail in Buckhead.

On the westside, the trail stretches 2.4 miles from White Street to Westview Cemetery (according to the BeltLine map).

The trails in the east and west don’t yet connect. The Southside Trail, which will bridge both sides of the city, is under construction and open to the public as an interim trail. A portion of it is supposed to open this summer. For details, click here.

To learn more about the overall project, check out the Atlanta BeltLine website.

Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail

When will the Atlanta BeltLine be finished?

Good question. The Atlanta BeltLine says 2030. They recently convinced the Atlanta City Council to raise taxes to bring in $350 million for part of it, in order to meet this deadline.

How do I get to the Atlanta BeltLine?

It depends on what you want to see and do. See below.

Where to start on the Atlanta BeltLine

The Eastside Trail is best known because of its many restaurants, bars and abundance of street art. There are multiple access points. The most traveled section is arguably between Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, both historic buildings turned into food halls. If you want a taste of the BeltLine scene, I recommend starting at Ponce City Market and heading South to Irwin Stree