When I was living in town near Grant Park back in 2008, the Atlanta Beltline was only just breaking ground, though it was originally conceived in 1999 by Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel. The Eastside Trail was the first part of the multi-use trail circling the center of the city to be completed along the former railway corridor. Longterm plans stretch out to 2030 with the inclusion of the Atlanta Streetcar System.
There are several sections that can be walked at this time in varying states of completion. Here is the list.
In 2010, Art on the Beltline held its first annual exhibit of temporary and permanent art installations. I chose to walk the Eastside Trail one day as that is where much of the art is concentrated. I took these photos in October of 2015, so as the dates for the 2016 exhibition approach, expect to see changes. It will kick off on September 10 with the Lantern Parade and continue through November with musicians, visual artists and performance artists.
Tip: Before you go, download the Living Walls App. I previously wrote about the Living Walls bike tour I took last year which brings artist to the city to paint murals. The app will alert you anytime you are near a work that is part of that project, so you can keep an out for pieces in and around the Beltline (Art on the Beltline is a separate project) and anywhere else you go downtown. When I was walking the Eastside Trail, I detoured off a couple times to see some nearby works of art. Just last week I took my son to Fernbank Natural History Museum and was able to take an alternate route home and check out a couple murals in Decatur.
After snapping a couple pictures of murals in Cabbagetown (part of yet another project called Forward Warrior, started in 2011) behind 97 Estoria, and of the Krog Street Tunnel, I headed over to Krog Street Market at the edge of Inman Park to grab a pumpkin tea cake at Little Tart Bake Shop for breakfast. At this early hour, there wasn’t much open in the market besides the bakery. Then I headed to the Beltline, where I spent most of my time checking out the Old Fourth Ward portion, though the Eastside trail continues past Piedmont Park.
My Living Walls app alerted me that this mural, Satisfied Senior by Mr. Never Satisfied, was just a block away from me, so I briefly detoured off the Beltline to check it out.
There are multiple restaurants along and within a couple blocks of the trail, so it’s easy to make a day of walking, biking, shopping, playing at the park and dining. And check the site for scheduled events. There are frequent festivals, yoga classes, skateboarding classes and more.
I’d love some feedback. What is your favorite spot on the Beltline?
I like to credit the artists whenever possible. Any missing artist information is due to lack of knowledge and I’m happy to hear from people who know the artist’s name.