Course 4 /// Southside Park Trail
RUNGO App | LONG COURSE LINK
RUNGO App | SHORT COURSE LINK
GPX FILES & CUE SHEETS | LONG & SHORT COURSE ZIP
Click here to download
BOTH COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Your race starts at the trailhead, at the north end of the parking lot (left when you arrive at the park). There are four trails at Southside Park, and of which you’ll make use two or three:
Expert (2.25: not yet open)
Short Course: Connector to Intermediate, then back to trailhead via Connector. Approximately 4 miles.
Long Course: Beginner, Connector, Intermediate, Connector, Beginner. Approximately 6.5 miles. Direction of travel: Opposite of the daily direction noted for mountain bikes. This is for safety and awareness.
The two best things that ever happened to Southside Park were MTB Atlanta (formerly known as SORBA) and the 2008 economic collapse. Prior to the latter, the City of Atlanta planned to overdevelop this 211-acre forest and wetlands into oblivion. At present, you see four baseball diamonds when you enter the park, two large parking lots, and some soccer courts. The original master plans, drafted in 2007, called for expanded diamonds, grassy lawns, a tennis court complex and clubhouse, a meadow and amphitheater to serve as an event venue, skatepark, adults soccer courts, pavilions, paved trails, roads and parking throughout, and more. Basically any late-2000s suburban park amenities the city could conceive, they wanted to pack into Southside.
Then the bottom dropped out and that pipe dream was abandoned, and the park lay mostly fallow. Then along came MTB Atlanta with a plan, a network of similarly-minded allies, and four years of advocacy.
You’re already familiar with MTB Atlanta and enjoy the fruits of their trail building and maintenance, most notably Sope Creek and Cochran Mill. Southside Park is the first mountain bike development on City of Atlanta park land and the only purpose-built mountain bike trails inside the Perimeter. The plan for Southside Park’s 7.5-mile trail network began in 2013 with professional trail planning, a comprehensive tree inventory, fundraising, and organization of a Friends of Southside Park chapter.
Construction began in May 2016 on the Beginner trail, a pilot for the extensive and popular passive use development to follow. MTB Atlanta expanded with construction of a footbridge over the South River tributary, and construction of the three-mile Intermediate trail in Dec. 2018. Construction on the Expert trail was completed in late February 2020, though official opening has been delayed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.