VeloCity 2020: Scenic routes to take as you run, walk or bike

VeloCity Atlanta is an annual charity bike ride for which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a presenting sponsor, and this year the event will be held virtually.

If you’ve already signed up for the VeloCity 2020 fundraiser for Grady Health System, you might be looking for some scenic metro Atlanta routes to run, walk or bike. And even if you haven’t registered yet, you can still get moving since the virtual event, of which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a presenting sponsor, continues until Nov. 7.

The following are some popular metro Atlanta routes you can take as you log your VeloCity fundraising miles:

Murphey Candler Park – Run or walk around a small lake in Brookhaven, and you’ll be traveling about two mostly level miles. Along the way, you’ll see wooded areas, wetlands and bridges and might spot ducks, Canadian geese and beavers at the lake.

Murphey Candler Park is located at 1551 West Nancy Creek Drive NE, Atlanta. For more information, visit murpheycandlerpark.org.

Cheatham Hill Loop – This 5.8-mile loop takes you over gently rolling terrain at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. You’ll be able to explore meadows, go through former Civil War battlefields and traverse a creek along the way.

For more information, visit atlantatrails.com.

Oakland Cemetery – The 48-acre cemetery is the resting place for many of Atlanta’s well-known residents and is also a public park, wildlife habitat, botanical garden and sculpture garden. As you stroll through the grounds, you’ll be shaded by large oak and magnolia trees. You can walk anytime from dawn to dusk any day of the year for free, and although the gates are currently open, the visitor’s center and restrooms are closed due to COVID-19.

For more information, visit oaklandcemetery.com.

Lullwater Park at Emory University – Run or walk the 2.4-mile round trip trail at Lullwater Park, a route that’s recommended by the Atlanta Track Club. You’ll follow the banks of a lake, cross a span bridge and can explore the ruins of a 1920s powerhouse along the way.

For more information, visit atlantatrails.com.

Big Creek Greenway – Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway is eight miles long and has a path that’s 12 feet wide, so you can easily maintain social distancing. It’s popular for running, walking and biking, so you can take your pick of ways to participate in VeloCity.

The trail is open from 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. March-October and from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov.-Feb., and the Halcyon Trailhead is located at 6265 Corland Walk, Alpharetta. For more information, visit bigcreekgreenway.com.

Arabia Mountain PATH – Also known as AMP, this paved biking and hiking trail is located in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. You’ll find new bike trails that are designated by beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, so there’s something for everyone. AMP will take you past rock outcroppings, wildflower fields, streams and more natural beauty as you log your miles.

For more information, visit arabiaalliance.org.

Silver Comet Trail – The Atlanta Track Club also recommends this 61.5-mile long uninterrupted and paved trail, which is popular with bikers, runners and walkers. Mile 0 is located in Smyrna, and the trail extends all the way to the Georgia/Alabama border, where it connects to another trail. The Track Club suggests noting the restroom that’s closest to you since there aren’t many available along the way.

For more information, visit bikesilvercomet.com.