(For our non-Atlanta readers, the Beltline is a HUGE city-wide urban development project. It's still in the initial stages, but will eventually encompass new development, public transit and greenspace that follows 22 miles of historic rail circling the city center.)
So when I found out about a group of urban hikers getting ready to go on their third Beltline tour, I (easily) convinced some friends to come with me:
(L to R: me, Matt, Ameila and Lain)
I was foolish enough to let Lar take all the pictures, so there are none of her from our hike. Needless to say, she was the most fashionable of the bunch.
There were about 25 of us total in the group. We ended up walking about 6 miles of the Beltline in about 3 hours and spent a lot of the time listening to Angel, our tour guide who knows everything about the Beltline AND use to be a train conductor (he's the one in the orange shorts).
Of course no urban hike would be complete without graffiti. Scarface and the cow face were our two favorites:
The best part about the hike was getting to see the city from a different perspective. Imagine taking a train through your local city, but on foot - if that makes any sense. Some of you Atlantans might recognize the local spots in the photos below.
Starting at the top, left to right: Taking a break in Atlanta's Glenwood Park neighborhood, City Hall East (formerly the Sears building), Krog Street tunnel, and the rail bridge over Ponce de Leon Ave. facing east (that's Paris on Ponce on the left).
By 3 p.m. we were all exhausted, hungry and sunburned, but it was so much fun we're all looking forward to the next hike. For some more photos from the hike, check out the Urban Hiking Atlanta blogpost.
After a couple of hours of walking on rail, rocks, sand and branches, Lar, our friend Amelia, and I agreed the following would make up the perfect urban hiking outfit:
- Shorts, tank top and hoodie.
- Sneakers and tube socks.
- A large water bottle that won't leak in your backpack or one that attaches to a beltloop with a carabiner.
- Sunglasses that aren't so cheap they leave indentations on your checks (these are the only type of sunglasses I own).