One of the Atlanta Beltline’s most popular features has made its triumphant return.
No, not the miniature replica of the Clermont Lounge along the Eastside Trail; it’s still there, tucked underneath the bridge over Ralph McGill Boulevard — if you know to look for it, that is.
If you don’t, well, that’s as good a reason as any to take one of the expertly-guided Arboretum Walking Tours of the Beltline. And this just in: The 90-minute tours, which are led by Trees Atlanta docents, are back up and running (er, walking), after a brief winter hiatus. So are the three-hour Beltline bus tours that cover the full 22-mile loop that, when it’s completed, will connect 45 intown neighborhoods with multi-use trails, modern streetcar routes, and parks.
The tours are organized by Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP), which secures public, private and philanthropic support for the Beltline and creates programs to engage and benefit nearby residents and other Beltline visitors. IHG Foundation is a presenting sponsor of the 2017 bus tours, with a portion of the funding going toward providing access to tours for groups that might not otherwise be able to take part. In addition, Whole Foods Market and CLIF Bar & Company will donate bottle water and snacks, respectively, for this year’s bus tour-goers.
Both tours take place on Friday and Saturday mornings and advance registration is required at www.beltline.org. The $25 bus tours tend to fill up especially quickly — by late Wednesday morning, seats had sold out on the ADA-compliant bus for this Saturday’s tour, which departs from the Inman Park Reynoldstown Marta station at 9:30 a.m. (there was better news on Friday, as more than a dozen seats still remained available).
The free Arboretum Walking Tour steps off at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. from June to September, to help beat the Atlanta heat) from behind Parish restaurant along the Eastside Trail. The moderately paced, approximately two hour tour features plenty of information about the native plants and trees being nurtured along the Beltline, of course. But the Trees Atlanta docents also share all sorts of fascinating facts, figures and historical lore about the buildings and neighborhoods the Beltline passes by and through, and are quick to point out artwork (official and unofficial) and other one-of-a-kind aspects of this constantly changing public pathway through the heart of the city.
Meanwhile, bicyclists, start getting pumped (your tires, too)! ABP says its popular cycling tours of east and west side portions of the Atlanta Beltline will resume sometime in March. Keep checking back at beltline.org/tours for information and also read up on the bike tours in this article from last summer.
(Finally, for another guided walk, check out the BeltTour at www.belttour.com. It’s a “location aware” audio walking tour of the Beltline’s Eastside Trail that was created by an Atlantan who lived nearby. Available for free in the App Store, it uses a phone’s GPS to allow the narration, interviews and even some accompanying photographs to essentially keeps pace right along with the tour walker. Note: It is not affiliated with or endorsed by Atlanta BelLine Inc., Atlanta Beltline Partnership or the city of Atlanta)
To learn all about the Atlanta Beltline, including information on tours and other activities, visit www.beltline.org.