Drove out to that PATH bike trails in southeast Atlanta this morning. The portion I started out on is part of the Arabia Mountain Trail and there are lots of places you can hop in it. I found an unnamed paved road that it crosses just north of Klondike Road and Arabia Terrace.
Heading south you will enjoy a mostly shaded two lane path dedicated to pedestrains, skaters and cyclists. It crosses a few small neighborhood roads and at each point, there is more than adequate crossing precautions. After ~2.0 miles I crossed Rockland Road and entered Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve proper. While cycling is NOT allowed off the trail onto the granite mountain surfaces, there are spots to lock up your bike if you’d like to enjoy those portion of the park on foot.
Halfway through the preserve, you will encounter the Klondike Spur Trail on the left. I veered right to remain on the longer Arabia Mountain Trail. Continuing, the border of the preserve is marked by crossing over Stephensen Creek. There are a couple of switchbacks in the trail and boardwalks which should probably be taken at reduced speed as a courtesy to other users and your own safety.
North Goddard Road marks Arabia Mountain Trail’s entrance to Klondike Park (the trail actually just skirts its western edge). As you reach the southern boundary of Klondike Park you’ll have to make a right and then a left to remain on the portion of the Arabia Mountain Trail that heads on to Panola Mountain. This portion of the trail borders some roads, but the trail is completely separate and safe for even novel cyclists. There are several nice fields, farm houses and residences along this route but all are private property and should be respected.
As you approach the South River and Panola Mountain you will see the South River Trail on your right. I’m not familiar with this trail, but it looks similar in condition to Arabia Mountain Trail and might make a nice alternative if you’d like a riverside ride.
Continuing on Arabia Mountain Trail, you’ll skirt the northern boundary of Panola Mountain State Park and at the the 11 mile mark, the trail bisects Alexanders Lake. Although, it continues on, this was my turn around point. The lake is very pretty and offers a parking lot, walking trails, picnic areas, fishing and bike racks.
Even on a Saturday morning, there weren’t many people on the trail. Probably a dozen walkers and half that number of cyclists. Much of it is shaded, but there are sunny stretches so I’d recommend sunglasses and sunscreen. Next time, I’ll pack a picnic and perhaps linger at Alexanders Lake.
- Distance: ~22.00 miles
- Total Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
- Speed, Average: 11.40 mph
- Speed, Maximum: 32.74 mph
- Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/X2H1q