It’s easy to see why Denise Starling is excited about the latest section of Path400. Denise is the executive Director of Livable Buckhead, and she has been integral in the planning and construction of the Path400 project.
The most recent section of Path400, officially opened in 2021, connects the Lenox Mall area to Miami Circle. The path itself was completed last year, but there were infrastructure projects that had to be completed before opening the section to the public. Denise says the security cameras along the trail were the biggest hurdle, “Getting our cameras to tie in to Marta’s overall network has been quite challenging, and it’s just getting the cameras hooked up that has been the holdup.”
Nature in the City
This section of the path runs very close to GA400. The roar of the highway is a constant reminder that you’re in the city, but there are some beautiful natural elements along the way. Denise believes that the combination of elements along the path makes this the most interesting section yet. “It’s the weirdest juxtaposition of stuff. It’s got this nature pond that is basically a retention pond that’s become a wetland, right in the middle of all this heavy infrastructure, like trains, Marta, and highway.”
The wetland she refers to is a rather large pond that sits between the path and GA400. The pond is home to several bird species, from wading birds to raptors, but that’s not all. When Denise was walking the trail with the contractor, she asked him why he had cut down several trees along the pond. He explained that his crew had not removed any trees. Upon further inspection they realized that a beaver colony had actually moved into the pond and was taking down trees. They were forced to wrap the trees with chicken wire to prevent the beavers from doing any more landscaping!
Denise says the large mural by Atlanta artist Krista M. Jones (@jonesyartatl) is her current favorite feature of Path400. The mural, titled “Great Blue, depicts two blue herons in a beautiful blue background. The mural was completed in 2019, but it is much more accessible now that this section of Path400 is open.
It’s about a mile from the top of Miami Circle to the Lenox Square area. The trail is fairly easy for the most part, but be aware of a couple of hilly sections if you’re planning to ride your bike. Check out the entire Path400 project with the interactive map below.