By Denise Starling, Executive Director, Livable Buckhead
I am thrilled for the opportunity to give readers of The Buckhead Paper an update on PATH400. This project is my favorite topic of conversation, and I never get tired of sharing the latest news about the trail and our progress toward completing the full 5.2 miles in Buckhead. Actually, I also love sharing updates about PATH400’s progress beyond Buckhead’s borders. Making it possible to run, walk or bike to other areas in metro Atlanta is one of the trail’s major benefits, and we’re getting closer to achieving that goal every day.
Before I give you a construction update, let me give you a bit of background on the trail in case you haven’t tried it out for yourself. PATH400 runs roughly parallel to GA 400, beginning at the southern end of Buckhead where one day the Atlanta BeltLine will connect to it, and continuing north to Sandy Springs. The trail is transformative, taking unused right-of-way along the highway and turning it into a beautiful greenway that we can all enjoy.
Most people who walk the trail for the first time are surprised by how many areas of natural beauty there are in Buckhead. If you only travel through our community by car, you’re missing out on wooded areas, creeks and ponds that are just steps away – and now are accessible via PATH400. Walk the trail from Miami Circle to the back of Lenox Square, or from the Buckhead Loop to Wieuca Rd. and you’ll see what I mean.
Final stage underway
In November 2022 we broke ground on a section of the trail between Wieuca Rd. and Loridans Dr. This is the last major section of PATH400 as it was originally envisioned in Buckhead and it connects directly to Mountain Way Common, a park that neighbors have worked for years to develop.
This section is three quarters of a mile long with a lot of challenging topography that complicates construction. The centerpiece of the work is a soaring bridge over the park that is taking about 14 months to build and is still a few months from completion. While that progresses, crews are building the trail out from the bridge, moving northward to Loridans and southward to Wieuca at the same time. The bridge really is impressive, and you can get a look at it for yourself by joining us on an upcoming construction tour – visit the events page of Livable Buckhead’s website to sign up.
By summer we will likely be under construction on PATH400’s connection to Sandy Springs. From the Atlanta city limits northward, the project technically becomes someone else’s baby but I am excited to report that there are big plans for PATH400 beyond Buckhead. The City of Sandy Springs has completed design all the way up to where GDOT has built the section of the trail that goes right through the middle of the 285/400 interchange connecting from Peachtree Dunwoody Road down to the Glenridge Connector. Sandy Springs will begin construction on the first section around summer of this year.
I hope you’ll make a point to get out on PATH400 when spring weather returns to Buckhead. If you enjoy biking, mark your calendar for March 24 when we are co-hosting a group ride with Big Peach Ride+Run. If running is more your style, join us on May 4 for buckheadRUN!, our annual 5K along PATH400. And if a casual walk is what fits you best, by all means please get out and enjoy a stroll on PATH400!