Thursday, February 19, 2015
Day 2,974: An Atlanta running trail you've probably never heard of
7-mile Westside PATH trail.
I'd only been on this trail once before a few years back, wondering what a Mile 6 PATH marker was doing in the middle of nowhere. This area once was part of The Battle of Utoy Creek in August 1864.
Today, on one of Atlanta's coldest mornings, it was an ideal place to revisit. For one, I knew I would have the place to myself since it was so cold. And for another, when you have a nearly 3,000-day running streak, you have to run somewhere, right?
It turned out the run was beautiful, with skinny trees lining the path's rolling, semi-steep hills. They just opened another spur of this path, it's apparently a 4-mile or so connector to the Southwest Beltline.
I wasn't sure I would be running so soon in the day so my running kit was a composite of running clothes and everyday stuff. I had on my Brooks Spartan II running pants under a pair of khakis. I wore two long-sleeved technical T-shirts underneath a wool sweater and topped that with an old Columbia ski jacket.
I wore my old Niki Climafit gloves and tried to pull down my Outdoor Research fleece hat over my ear tips (that got pretty cold) but after a mile I didn't need the gloves or hat. I ran in my street shoes (a pair of Solomon Sense Mantra 2 trail running shoes).
I imagine this area doesn't get too many visitors because when I made my turnaround on the Beltline connector trail, something greeted me and probably chuckled a little before jumping off into the woods:
Because it was so cold I didn't stick around for too much longer than I needed for the streak but I am happy to have ventured outside my comfort zone to run in what ended up being a delightful park.
(Getting there: The best parking is at the corner of Flamingo and Willis Mill Road Southwest. If you know how to program coordinates into your car's GPS, parking is at: N33 44.078 W084 28.158).