The trails at Southside Park are a project of IMBA/SORBA’s Metro Atlanta Chapter – MTB Atlanta, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, IMBA Trail Solutions, the City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation, Park Pride and Arborguard, a company of arborists and tree specialists.
The Southside Park project is a culmination of over four years of advocacy work and a benchmark project in the City of Atlanta. This is the first mountain bike development on City park land and the only purpose-built mountain bike trails inside the Perimeter. Atlanta has one of the most comprehensive tree ordinances in the country and all parties involved in this project are committed to excellence in trail construction with minimal tree impact.
In December of 2013, IMBA SORBA Atlanta and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition hired IMBA Trail Solutions to develop a trail plan for Southside Park. This plan was funded by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and IMBA SORBA Atlanta. In 2015 IMBA SORBA Atlanta was awarded a grant from REI for construction of Phase One of the project, a beginner trail. In January 2016, MTB Atlanta hired Arborguard, a third party arborist to develop a Tree Impact Mitigation Plan and to monitor trail construction on behalf of City Parks. City Parks graciously offered to donate the trees necessary for the recompense of trees removed from the trail corridor during construction. This plan was approved by the City arborist and put out for public comment with no objection.
In May 2016 MTB Atlanta joined Park Pride and became the Friends of Southside Park. The Chapter then hired Ken Nix and Walt Bready to build the beginner trail. Charlie Schultz also helped on the project. Ken and Charlie have worked in the past with SORBA Woodstock to build the very popular trails at Blankets Creek and at Rope Mill Park in Cherokee County.
The Beginner Trail is optimized for mountain biking but will be open to hikers and trail runners. All the trails at Southside Park will be shared use. They will be directional by day. Mountain bikes will travel by the direction of the day noted on the sign for that day and all other users will travel in the opposite direction. Mountain bikers will yield to pedestrians and follow IMBA’s Rules of the Trails.
The trail system will be a traditional stacked loop system. It will have three loops, a beginner, intermediate, and expert. The entire system will be close to 7 miles when complete. Check out the map below for the master plan.
We have decided to name the trails at Southside after trees to honor Atlanta’s great forest canopy. We have named the Beginner Trail the Evergreen Trail. The Board of MTB Atlanta made sure that the Evergreen Trail would be fun for adults and kids alike. We know that there are very few places you can ride with children in the Metro area and we made this a priority with the Evergreen Trail. We want kids and new users to experience the joy of mountain biking and to connect with the beautiful forest canopy in an urban environment. The Evergreen trail is 1.25 miles long and is fast, flowy and fun for all users.
As of December 2016, the Evergreen Trail is open daylight hours at Southside Park located at 3460 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta, GA 30357.