A Trail of Views

So I got a notice this morning that 1.8k people within the first 48 hours have viewed my recent post on the community forum NextDoor (which I’ve reprinted at the end of this post*), where I provided some trails suggestions in many of the Metro Atlanta cities that surround us in response to various people lately who have the simple dream of finding welcoming places to ride their bikes.

Here are the comments:

Incredible post! I took photos of this. It’s possible we’ve done most of these but to be sure, I took photos to make a checklist. For the photo at the top, is that a web page? Amazing resource/guide – thank you!

Oh my God! This is just an excellent homework!

Love it, beginning to plan routes!

Thank you so much for posting this! Sent it to my husband.

I then saw that I’m in a photo in my local newspaper’s online version of its coverage of the trails meeting at city hall last week, an account of which I shared with you here. I’m shown in the left back corner, where I like to position myself so I’m not too close to folks and so I can “take in the room” as an independent journalist and identify a full range of cultural anthropology details. Gosh, I’m glad I left when I did! It sounds like it just continued down that negative, shall we say, trail. (For my responses to the online survey following this presentation of the Dunwoody Trail Network Master Plan draft, see here.)

Reprinted from the Dunwoody Crier. You can read the article here. Here’s their caption: Angry residents voice complaints about the proposed Dunwoody Trail Master Plan at a meeting held at City Hall Feb. 8. Officials called the meeting “unsuccessful” after receiving few constructive ideas about how the plan could proceed.ALEX POPP/APPEN MEDIA

*My NextDoor post:

I often see folks on various forums ask where to ride their bikes on paths near Dunwoody. Almost everyone replies Big Creek Greenway. Here’s a more detailed answer with a wider selection of options, if it is helpful to anyone:

You can meander for miles on both paved and dirt trails (flat!) by the river in Roswell in several areas (including the Riverwalk boardwalk that makes me feel like I’m having a beach staycation — go in the other direction and there are wooded trails) (plentiful parking at Riverside Park, a quick right at the light after you cross the river on Roswell Road). Here’s a way to get to one of my other faves at another part of the river: a new multiuse path is almost done in Sandy Springs on Abernathy from the Dunwoody border ALL THE WAY to the Cobb County border (and you pass the most amazing linear park, including a playground made entirely with playable art sculptures!), which puts you at Columns Drive, where there is a wide bike lane on a road that quickly drops from a posted speed limit of 30 to 25 (you will feel this difference in your soul when it happens — it’s pretty extraordinary), which takes you 2.5 pleasant miles past mansions and duck breeding grounds to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Center.

Once at this gorgeous natural wonderland, there’s even bikeshare, provided by the Cumberland Community Improvement District, if you meet a friend who drives there who doesn’t have a bike ($5 to park). It’s a 3-mile loop on a (mostly) wide, firm, gravel path through a meadow, wetlands, riverside and forest. From the mid-way point (when you get to the river, turn right instead of looping back left), you can cross a little parking lot and connect under 285 to the very first mile of multiuse path along the Perimeter. Stop for coffee and snack at the Walton on the Chattahoochee location/#BikesMeanBusiness 🙂 (note there are no bike racks, however, so lock up to a pole).

That path takes you to an entire world under and around the highways, waterfall, Galleria area (where Cobb County transit’s main station is and connects you via bus/bike to lots more places), even Truist Park! and beyond (note once you go under 285, things get very hilly — GREAT place for an ebike!). Honestly, it’s shocking. There is SO much good happening out there right now, not in 20 years!

Re: Big Creek Greenway, in addition to the greenway there, there are two super fun “Pump Tracks” next to the Alabama Road parking lot. You just use your arms to get your bike around a circle of mounds. This is fun for all ages — I’m 59; I do it. Re: that greenway, my preferred place to park is Rock Mill Park on Kimball Bridge Road (bathrooms, public piano, covered pavilions). From there, it’s a 4 mile ride in each direction to the current end (so 8 miles RT in each direction — soon to be connected to the stunning trails at shockingly-bike-friendly Halcyon and beyond.).

You can also get to a different entrance (on Northpoint Parkway) by bus 141 from the North Springs MARTA Station. It whips up 400 — you secure your bike on the front bike rack — see my video tutorial with MARTA bus driver Anthony:

Here are a bunch of welcoming routes throughout Metro Atlanta, if interested. Note you can take your bike at any time on every MARTA bus, train and streetcar any time they are operating. SO from Dunwoody, you are literally 15 minutes away from a huge amount of safe bike infrastructure. See routes.

For a very special park not that far away, you don’t want to miss riding your bike at McDaniel’s Farm (number 12). It’s a preserved homestead filled with so many interesting things to explore. You can also take a bus from Dunwoody to the Chamblee station (I take the 132) and ride the rail trail. It goes directly to Whole Foods (where there’s a nice bike rack) as well as to Keswick Park, passing public-play instruments, ping pong table and more along the way 🙂. You can then take Bus 19 from there to Downtown Decatur! See #7 at my link. Stop along the way at Mason Mill Park or Brookhaven’s Model Mile (#9) for more outstanding paths.

FYI, it’s only 6 miles via the PATH from Decatur to Clarkston (#8) in one direction or to the Atlanta BeltLine in the other direction. And you can take your bike on the MARTA train directly to intercity buses (which I’m doing in 36 days: RoundAmericaWithADuck.com/about) and the airport. Which means you can go anywhere.