Now that the Westside Trail is open for use, we’ve received many questions about the portion of the trail that uses the West End Trail for a half-mile between Gordon White Park and Lawton Street.
If you follow the old railroad corridor in this area, the trail is unpaved behind the northwestern half of what we call “Warehouse Row.” Transit will eventually be built along this stretch, but it is too narrow to accommodate both trail and transit in its current configuration. With a distance of just over a half-mile and no real access points, the decision was made to divert cyclists and pedestrians to the West End Trail until transit is built.
If you’re traveling south from the direction of Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, you will come to a curve in the trail that leads you out to White Street and Gordon White Park. Cross the street and take a right onto the West End Trail eastbound for just under 0.6 miles. After you pass under Lawton Street (look for the colorful mural – it’s “The West End Remembers,” by Malaika Favorite), you will see the West End Trail continue up a ramp on your left.
A silver metal BeltLine sign denotes the intersection. It will lead you back toward Lawton Street, bringing you to the bridge over White Street. Bear left and follow the trail along Lawton to the end (near Donnelly Street) and you will see another ramp leading back down to the Westside Trail corridor. There are also stairs mid-block if you prefer.
If you’re traveling north, you’ll need to take the ramp on your left as you approach Lawton Street, take a right at the top of the ramp or stairs (staying on the same side of the street), cross back over the corridor and White Street, veer right at the next trail, and follow that down to meet White Street. Make a right. Take the trail down White Street to the southeast corner of Gordon White Park, until you see the entrance to the Westside Trail to the left across the street. Cross at the designated crosswalk.
This is how you navigate the Westside Trail around where the corridor has been preserved for transit; however, that corridor is available as an interim trail should you choose to walk the unpaved portion and save yourself some distance. As with all Atlanta BeltLine interim trails, there is no lighting and the terrain may be rough so please use caution.