Go West this summer and get ahead.

It’s time to ditch your boring gym

Pedestrians take advantage of Atlanta weather by strolling through the Northside Beltline Trail. Photo by Jordan Brace | The Signal

It’s that time of year again! You know — when the new year’s gym resolutions are beginning to dwindle, your workout is becoming tedious and those trendy cycling classes still do not pay for themselves. Let’s be honest; sometimes, all it takes is a change in scenery to rekindle your steady relationship with exercise. So before breaking up with your health for good, consider taking a breath of fresh air at one (or all) of these scenic trails near the city.

1. Palisades West Trail
Address: 932 Akers Ridge Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
The Palisades West Trail takes the cake in terms of scenic beauty. Located right along the Chattahoochee River, the trail offers views of the rushing water, a look-over bridge, and gorgeous rocky terrain. The trail even opens to a small beach where hikers can take a swim and observe the native cranes. Additionally, in this opening, visitors can bring a tube or kayak to enter onto the Chattahoochee River, and exit at the Paces Mill unit (about one to two hours away by tube depending on the flow of the river.)

2. Sweetwater Creek State Park Trail
Address: 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA 30122
The name of this trail speaks for itself. The Sweetwater Creek is home to several different trails for beginner to expert hikers with a stunning scenery. The trails each have unique terrain, but all showcase the beauty of Sweetwater Creek. I would recommend this trail for practicing yoga, as there are many spots to lay a mat down and calm anxiety with a brief breathing or meditation session.

3. Oldcastle Nature Trail (a.k.a. Marcus Center Trail)
Address: Briar Vista Terrace NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
Home to several crawling creatures, the Oldcastle Nature Trail is beautiful not only for its nature, but its spirit. The trail was developed by the Marcus Autism Center located just down the road. During your scenic workout at this trail, you can expect to see butterflies (both real and ceramic) lounging around, as well as cardinals chirping in the trees. If you are looking for a trail that will showcase the beauty of Georgia’s nature with minimal strenuous parts, I would highly suggest Oldcastle.

4. Morningside Nature Trail
Address: 2020 Lenox Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
Within the hustle and bustle of Buckhead, it is hard to believe there is a nature trail only 10 minutes away from the luxury shopping center of Lenox Mall. This nature preserve is a step away from the glitz and glamour of Lenox Square and offers a standard path with a wooden bridge standing high over the below stream of water.

5. The Northside Beltline Trail
Address: Northside BeltLine Trail, Atlanta, GA 30309
The Atlanta Beltline is known for being a crucial part of Old Fourth Ward, and a place for artists to express themselves. But have you been to the location where all the BeltLine trails began? The Northside trail is a woodsy area perfect for taking your dog on a short walk or watching as trains pass on the railroad above the carefully constructed walking bridge.

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