Sometimes I like to pretend I live in an urban area where everything is accessible by walking. I’ll squeeze my preschooler into the stroller, and we’ll walk up to our local coffee place or store to pick up a few essentials. I close my eyes and pretend we’re running all of our errands on foot. Yes, I know, it’s hard to keep from snickering. For the vast majority of us who live in Metro-Atlanta, that idea is a pipe dream. Driving rules, and sometimes it feels like it’s taking over my life. THE TRAFFIC. There, just one word brings on that nails on a chalkboard feeling. Did you just squirm or get chills? Just like when we wrote about our tips to survive errands with kids, it’s the driving to EVERY. SINGLE. PLACE. in this city that is physically and emotionally taxing.
When my son was a baby, one of my favorite things to do was put him in the stroller and seek out a new to us park trail. I needed the exercise and fresh air, and frankly, a break from driving and hauling the car seat around. Now that he isn’t such a baby anymore, but in his words, “a little kid”, I find myself feeling nostalgic about the peaceful walks we enjoyed together.
Exercise for you and fresh air for baby; it’s one of the best activities to enjoy together. Where our city falls short on places that are accessible by walking, we more than make up for it with all of the beautiful park trails and greenways. Strap your baby or toddler in the stroller, get yourself an iced coffee, and get out and explore together! Here is just a sampling of our favorites:
With a 3.2 mile lighted trail system, this walking trail is a favorite. It has lots of shade and a good mix of flat terrain and a few hills. There’s also a small lake towards one end of the trail; a good stopping point to see the ducks.
This trail is a scenic 5k walk around the North Fulton Golf Course. A few tough hills make for good exercise, while enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding neighborhood.
The greenway is a concrete path that meanders through the woods along Big Creek. You’ll feel up close and personal with nature, in the middle of suburbia. Primarily flat, it’s a good, fast walk with a stroller. There are Forsyth, Alpharetta and Roswell segments, and length depends on where you park. Be sure to keep right, as bikes and skaters are allowed.
This park has a shorter walking trail (less than one mile), but is a favorite for its scenery. Located in Sandy Springs, enjoy views of a lake and take a break on one of the swings, taking in the view.
Located in Decatur, the park features three peaceful acres for a nice walk with baby. Behind a former elementary school, the community has worked hard to preserve the natural beauty.
This brand new, 6.6 acre linear park opened in July 2014. Located on Abernathy Road, between Wright and Brandon Mill Roads, it includes a patio, gardens, lighted trail and playable art structures. While not an extensive walking trail, it is an easily accessible space that provides a good walk and opportunities to take play breaks.