BeltLine celebrates groundbreaking of two new trail segments

Pictured from left to right: Rob Brawner, Executive Director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; Katie Howard, Atlanta Public Schools Board Member, District 1; Natalie Hall, Fulton County Commissioner, District 4; Clyde Higgs, President and CEO, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.; Mayor Andre Dickens, City of Atlanta; Jason Winston, City of Atlanta Councilmember, District 1; Daniel Blackman, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4); Abiy Kaltiso, Transportation Chair South Atlanta for Neighborhood Development (SAND); Matt Westmoreland, City of Atlanta Councilmember, Post 2 At Large. Photo by Erin Sintos.

The Atlanta BeltLine has been moving full steam ahead, breaking ground on two new segments of the 22-mile loop in less than two weeks.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. leaders and community members broke ground on 1.2-miles of the BeltLine’s Southside Trail on March 13, 2023. Known as Segments 4 and 5, the new paved trail will connect the Glenwood Park and Grant Park neighborhoods, from Glenwood Avenue to Boulevard.

“The next expansion of the Southside Trail is a significant move towards a more connected and thriving Atlanta,” said Mayor Dickens. “This 1.2-mile segment will provide safer and more accessible routes for residents, students and visitors alike, linking communities to job centers north and south of I-20.”

The Southside Trail expansion will provide nearly 5 miles of multi-use trail stretching from Piedmont Park to Boulevard and create safer routes to schools for students and families at Parkside Elementary and Maynard Jackson High School.

Mayor Dickens, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., stakeholders, and members of the community gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of Westside Trail-Segment 4 on March 22, 2023. Photo: The Sintoses.

Then on March 23, 2023, Mayor Dickens, Atlanta BeltLine leaders and community members broke ground on the 1.3 mile stretch of the BeltLine’s Westside Trail connecting Washington Park to Bankhead / Historic Westin Heights. 

 The Westside Trail – Segment 4 starts at the western boundary of the Washington Park neighborhood, founded 100 years ago as a trailblazing Black suburb and the proud home of Atlanta’s first greenspace that provided key recreational amenities for an African American community. The park is a vital component of the Atlanta BeltLine’s “emerald necklace,” a network of public greenspaces connected by the BeltLine.

Once Segment 4 is finished, the Westside Trail will represent the longest continuous section of paved trail along the BeltLine. People will be able to travel 6.5 miles on paved trails from Pittsburgh Yards in the southwest to Huff Road in West Midtown to the northwest and to downtown Atlanta, going through some of Atlanta’s most historic neighborhoods.  

“With the Westside Trail, we’re creating a brighter tomorrow for all who call Atlanta home,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “It’s an important part of our 22-mile trail network, and we’re excited that our vision is coming to completion. We estimate the BeltLine will be 80 percent completed or under construction in the next two years.”

Progress will continue to ramp up with several more groundbreakings slated to take place this year, including Northeast Trail – Segment 1. The final portion of the Southside Trail, Segments 2 and 3, will be bid for construction this fall.

To date, 9.3 miles of the 22-mile BeltLine mainline trail loop are complete. In addition, 10.3 miles of connector trails have been completed that tie directly into current and future segments of the BeltLine mainline trail. Construction on Southside Trail – Segments 4 and 5 is expected to be complete in the spring of 2025 and construction on Westside Trail – Segment 4 is expected to be complete in the summer of 2025.


2 thoughts on this article. Join the discussion below

  1. Why have 10.3 miles of connector trails been completed while only 9.3 miles of actual Beltline 22 loop been completed? This appears to be misplaced priorities, the cart before the horse. Certainly completion of the primary goal of the 22 mile loop will be the foundation of many future opportunities for connector trails, but only in the meantime serve to delay the primary driver of the concept completion.

    1. Hi Thomas, while completion of the mainline loop is a priority, connecting into the loop from surrounding neighborhoods – and creating more connectivity within the city – is important. We also have opportunities with our partners, in this case, the PATH Foundation, to build these connector trails, so we can jointly focus on building out the network.

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