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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best park

The gazebo and bridge at Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park, your pick for best park in and around Atlanta. Photo: Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

The gazebo and bridge at Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park, your pick for best park in and around Atlanta. Photo: Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com

YOUR PICKS
1. Piedmont Park
You say, “Piedmont Park, not even close. Great dog parks, nice lake, and great open space for activities. Will be even better when The Beltline opens” and “Thousands can walk to it from their homes, thousands more can reach it by public transportation. And there is a wealth of complementary attractions nearby–botanical garden, restaurants, pubs, the High. It is unsurpassed in Atlanta.”

2. Stone Mountain Park
3. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
4. Grant Park
5. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
6. Candler Park

A view of the east side of Bradley Peak on Arabia Mountain. The area around the mountain, designated a National Heritage Area in 2006, is our pick for best park in and around Atlanta. Staff photo.

A view of the east side of Bradley Peak on Arabia Mountain. The area around the mountain, designated a National Heritage Area in 2006, is our pick for best park in and around Atlanta. Staff photo.

OUR PICKS
1. Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve
We say, “A serene and unusual oasis of natural beauty in DeKalb County, highlighted by the metamorphic rock mountain (or monadnock) that gives the place its name, a tranquil lake, streams and scenic hiking and biking trails. It’s the perfect getaway that isn’t far away at all. The mountain and its surroundings were designated a National Heritage Area in 2006.”

2. Piedmont Park
3. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
4. Henderson Park in Tucker
5. Leita Thompson Memorial Park

100 comments Add your comment

Em

May 9th, 2011
8:55 pm

Piedmont, hands down. It’s Atlanta’s equivalent to Central Park.

Mary B

May 9th, 2011
10:21 pm

This is hard! Piedmont is awesome, Henderson has great trails and a nice lake and although it isn’t on the list the park at Emory Univ. with the dean’s house is wonderful, private fields, lake, ducks, trails

Edward

May 10th, 2011
12:59 am

Piedmont Park, of course.

Suwanee

May 10th, 2011
7:34 am

I vote Town Center Park in Suwanee! Great place for families to hangout.

Danno

May 10th, 2011
7:35 am

I vote for any park that I never go to.

Bill

May 10th, 2011
7:39 am

Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails.

diamond-e

May 10th, 2011
7:47 am

Chris

May 10th, 2011
7:50 am

Heard the National Recreation and Park Association is revitalizing Selena S. Butler Park in Midtown. Lots of history in that area, and it should be a great place to take the family come November. But for now…either Piedmont or Candler.

Grady baby

May 10th, 2011
7:51 am

Stone Mountain Park hands down, thirty(30) years ago Piedmont Park would have been a close second.

Mike

May 10th, 2011
7:58 am

Piedmont Park

joshdylan

May 10th, 2011
8:35 am

Mason Mill Park will be one ot the best when the redevelopment is completed. The best thing about living in the Toco Hill area. Pinkneyville Recreation Center in Gwinnett is really the ‘Best’, jmo.

We need green space, that much I know.

joshdylan

May 10th, 2011
8:36 am

The park on the Emory Campus is called Lullwater, IIRC.

Raul

May 10th, 2011
8:56 am

PIEDMONT PARK OF COURSE!!!!!STN MOUNTAIN NUMERO DOS!!!

ugh

May 10th, 2011
9:08 am

chattahoochee national rec area…..nothing better than dropping in your canoe and getting away from people.

lr

May 10th, 2011
9:11 am

All the Chattahoochee River Parks are great!

WTF?

May 10th, 2011
9:14 am

Kennesaw Mountain

MatthewG

May 10th, 2011
9:17 am

For a true nature experience it has to be Kennesaw Mountain

DL

May 10th, 2011
9:24 am

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Cobb County). Great hiking trails, multiple parking areas two smaller sister mountains, plus heavy treed areas to making walking/hiking in the summer very pleasant. Best part is that it’s located in the city limits of Marietta with all the fine restaurants nearby and shops nearby.

kevin

May 10th, 2011
9:24 am

Piedmont Park is great. Grant Park is also very nice. However, one park that often gets overlooked is Capitol View’s Perkerson Park. Rolling hills, gorgeous oak trees, families grilling out, baseball fields, tennis courts, frisbee golf.

Kennesaw is not in Atlanta.

Pablo Juan

May 10th, 2011
9:25 am

Obviously Piedmont Park. It’s place is cemented even further by the recent expansion and addition of play fountains and bocce ball courts.

intown

May 10th, 2011
9:29 am

Piedmont Park, not even close. Great dog parks, nice lake, and great open space for activities. Will be even better when The Beltline opens.

JoeV

May 10th, 2011
12:15 pm

Piedmont, of course. But a close second is Suwanee Town Center Park.

Goonie

May 10th, 2011
12:25 pm

BCPowder

May 10th, 2011
12:28 pm

Kennesaw Mtn….

Stone Mountain isn’t IN Atlanta either…

Kurt

May 10th, 2011
12:35 pm

Piedmont. Thousands can walk to it from their homes, thousands more can reach it by public transportation. And there is a wealth of complementary attractions nearby–botanical garden, restaurants, pubs, the High. It is unsurpassed in Atlanta.

Thoreau

May 10th, 2011
12:35 pm

Brownwood Park: the hidden gem of southeast Atlanta

Ain't That the Truth, Ruth

May 10th, 2011
12:41 pm

Collier Park. Great place for high school kids to sneak a beer and make some good memories.

JJJ

May 10th, 2011
12:43 pm

Grant Park. You really have to spend some time there to appreciate it.

Sleeping With The Enemas

May 10th, 2011
12:44 pm

Arabia Mountain.The place is huge, quiet and pristine.

Steve

May 10th, 2011
12:54 pm

Sleeping: Shhhhhhhhh! We’re not supposed to tell people about Arabia! It’s a best-kept secret. ;)

That aside, Chattahoochee Nat’l Rec Area – East Palisades is my favorite, followed by the Island Ford section in Dunwoody.

Julie

May 10th, 2011
12:57 pm

Murphy Candler Park. Great lake, wooded hiking trail, playground, picnic areas, pool, softball and soccer fields, and football stadium with concession stand. It’s the perfect park!

Elliot Garcia

May 10th, 2011
12:58 pm

Fowler Park in Forsyth County….plenty of green space….picnic pavilions….first public skatepark in Georgia….

Jaul

May 10th, 2011
12:59 pm

Metro Atlanta? No question about it…Piedmont Park.

john

May 10th, 2011
1:01 pm

The Car Park at the Varsity!!

kt

May 10th, 2011
1:07 pm

I like Inman park.

Mitchell

May 10th, 2011
1:13 pm

Goonie

May 10th, 2011
12:25 pm

Ballpark

Ha, yeah. Turner Field.

Except in October. It’s not for the faint of heart once October comes.

Dynomite

May 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

Chatoochee River Parks- It’s very relaxing and there great to hit up during your lunch hour. live in douglasville now-Hunter Park was great until they emptied the pond and made baseball fields!! I like Deer Lick Park as well in Douglasville.

J-J

May 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

piedmont park for sure, do not like stone mountain too much went down in stone moutain in the past years. will never take my grandchildren and did not take my children

Cubby

May 10th, 2011
1:31 pm

Some where with no strollers.

szq

May 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

Piedmont hands down. Freedom Park for the trails and view of the city. COP as the hub to many events

IT'S "METRO" ATLANTA

May 10th, 2011
1:42 pm

@BCPOWDER, IT’S CALLED “METRO” ATLANTA FOR A REASON, SO KENNESAW IS IN ATLANTA, BUT STONE MOUNTAIN ISN’T? WHERE DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS GENIUS IDEA? THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE METROPOLITAN AREA WHICH CONSIST OF AT LEAST 10 SURROUNDING COUNTIES. CHECK YOUR MAP! SMH!!

Southern Gal

May 10th, 2011
1:49 pm

Big Creek Greenway – starts in Roswell (home to an awesome number of parks and miles of walking trails) and goes through Alpharetta and Forsyth County. For that matter, Roswell has a skate park and a disc golf course, too. Add to that the trails along the Chattahoochee and it’s hard to pick just one.

A.D.

May 10th, 2011
1:54 pm

Cauble Park in Acworth

diamond-e

May 10th, 2011
1:58 pm

wonder why they call it in-man park

Chris

May 10th, 2011
2:30 pm

Piedmont Park. duh

Chris

May 10th, 2011
2:34 pm

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is my favorite

th

May 10th, 2011
2:46 pm

Henderson Park in Tucker has great walking trails around a small lake. My dogs love to walk there. Make sure you wear good shoes because the terrain can be rough going up/down the hills, especially after it rains. There is a nice spring waterfall on the trail as well. Very pretty!!

Green

May 10th, 2011
2:54 pm

Piedmont– especially with the recent expansion. But the Old Fourth Ward park is in the mix too. It’s new but check it out!

[...] What are your favorite parks to go running? Are there any I absolutely need to check out? While your at it, vote for your favorite park in Atlanta at Best of the Big A. [...]

the gooch

May 10th, 2011
3:14 pm

Its called Inman Park because they can’t call it Inmate Park. Which would be a good way to warn people.

Jigga Boo

May 10th, 2011
3:17 pm

I vote for the ghetto of Atlanta, Bankhead yo yo yo

Morbid Obesity

May 10th, 2011
3:17 pm

Any graveyard

Common Cents

May 10th, 2011
3:20 pm

My favorite place in Atlanta is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, or the Great Wall of China in China. Another favorite place in Atlanta is the Manhattan Bridge in Manhattan.

Amy Baker

May 10th, 2011
3:31 pm

My favorite is Roswell Area Park, great amenities, walking trail, a huge park for the kids, and even a pond to watch the geese/ducks in.

John

May 10th, 2011
4:07 pm

Candler Park.A very well kept secret.A nine hole golf course.Walking trails.What else can one ask for?

PJ

May 10th, 2011
4:20 pm

We love almost all the parks around us, but Riverside Park in Roswell is our favorite – 2 playgrounds, by the river with miles of trails in either direction, sprayground, summer movies/concerts. We spend lots of time there.

mugglemikki

May 10th, 2011
4:32 pm

Mozley Park!

JEC

May 10th, 2011
4:44 pm

Chastain Park — trails, golf, tennis, amphitheatre, horse park, ball fields, gym, Horseradish Grill, and even a gelato truck.

Voice of Reason

May 10th, 2011
5:50 pm

Kennesaw Park is wonderful, but unfortunately is in Kennesaw. I remember 25 years ago when Piedmont Park had bums living in it and in the morning they would use rope pullies to get their bag of belongings up into the trees, so there were these ropes hanging out of the trees. They have done an amazing job turning Piedmont Park into the best park in ATLANTA.

Tom

May 10th, 2011
8:15 pm

Chastain Park

Heather S

May 10th, 2011
10:39 pm

Roswell Area Park – miles of walking trails, playgrounds, lakes, tons of trees, fields – gorgeous place to spend the day!

DD

May 11th, 2011
7:23 am

Stone Mountain, its huge, lots of different things to do: fish, walk the lakes, climb the mountain, ride the incline, not to mention the village, train and mini-golf, or just bbq and relax. You can even kayak or canoe, what other park in the area allows you to do soo much without visiting multiple places.

Rich Black

May 11th, 2011
7:27 am

Piedmont Park, except during The Dogwood Festival. Every fat resident from Cobb County is there with strollers looking for “The Gays” so they can tell their other fat friends what they saw on Monday morning. BTW…us Gays don’t go to the park that weekend.

LOL!

May 11th, 2011
8:02 am

@ Rich Black…the funniest things I have read on this post! Thanks for the laugh!

PattyPancake

May 11th, 2011
8:53 am

Any park where there are no rapping, cursing, loud, pants to the ground thugs!

Chess Champion

May 11th, 2011
9:12 am

Woodruff Park is the most intellectual on account of the clientele.

seamus

May 11th, 2011
9:15 am

lil’ mulberry in dacula

tmquinn

May 11th, 2011
9:41 am

Wow!! No love for Centinnial Park, huh? Best cityline views, best fountains, right in the heart of downtown..

Antonio

May 11th, 2011
10:05 am

PIEDMONT PARK!!!

barrie savage

May 11th, 2011
10:06 am

Piedmont Park…no question about it!

Rodney

May 11th, 2011
10:35 am

Leita Thompson in Roswell. Very peaceful

missy

May 11th, 2011
10:46 am

Swift-Cantrell park in Kennesaw is awesome – great dog parks, skating park for kids, running paths – 1 mile loop and 1/2 mile loops, tons of green space and two huge playgrounds – one for younger kids, one for older kids! By far the best park I’ve been to!!

Tammy Sue from Aniston

May 11th, 2011
11:00 am

Six Flags is the best. We make several trips a year. U all are so lucky U have it and should be grateful.

greybrave

May 11th, 2011
11:04 am

Oakland Cemetery.

Matt

May 11th, 2011
11:07 am

@Tammy Sue from Aniston: we’re talking about greenspace parks. Not amusement parks.

Dunwoody Debbie

May 11th, 2011
11:17 am

My backyard is pretty nice. I just got some new patio furniture.

john

May 11th, 2011
11:23 am

If I tell you where the wonderful little park is, everyone will want to go. Then it will just be an overused park that is unpleasant to visit as other easily accessible parks have become. Look around your neighborhood. Atlanta has many small delightful parks.

What is missing is adequate exercise space. There is little space in Morningside adequate for pick up baseball, football, or soccer. It’s no wonder kids don’t play any more.

heartofdarkness

May 11th, 2011
11:38 am

Car park at Camp Creek Pkwy. Means I’m headed out of town.

Andy

May 11th, 2011
11:43 am

1. Harbins Park – great running/biking trails; my daughter loves the playground
2. Tribble Mill Park – again, great running/biking trails; very expansive and so much to do
3. Yellow River Park – you see the pattern…great running/biking trails; nice new playground/recreation area

Jan B

May 11th, 2011
11:47 am

Tribble Mill Park near Grayson is the most scenic and serene park near Atlanta. The lake is beautiful and the park is a great place for a picnic and nature walk!

The Brantley Man

May 11th, 2011
11:51 am

COLLEGE PARK, EAST POINT AND DECATUR they got my back.

joshdylan

May 11th, 2011
2:23 pm

runners, fearless bicycle riders, strollers–at NDH–we take to the streets. I understand–but when I’m driving in our traffic with road construction possible at any point along the way and insane, rude drivers–most on cell phones —I become anxious.
knock on wood–I haven’t killed anyone yet. Not a great idea to walk out in front of my car, fyi.

Mason Mill–it’s on the way to becoming The Best of the Best, when it is connected to Medlock —’Wonderful, yet Wonderful and after that beyond all hoping’. To paraphrase the Bard–’As You Like It’.
This is what we want —To be the Very Best. not really—not a competitive area–it will be Good and that is enough.

joshdylan

May 11th, 2011
2:27 pm

Even if Piedmont Park is the Best, it is not close enough.
I plan outings to this area.

Where would I park–that has always been a negative when considering a visit to Piedmont Park.

There is a park in Morningside that looks nice, as I drive by. There is a park near Lindbergh/Briar Vista, also nice. There are many good green spaces in metro ATL—glad this has become a priority.l

Rich Black

May 11th, 2011
4:01 pm

I hate myself:(

Stu

May 12th, 2011
8:52 am

Leita Thompson Park in Roswell is fantastic–flower gardens and sitting area, shaded, non-paved running trails, lakeside fishing, and an off-leash doggie park that brings in people from four counties.

kevin

May 12th, 2011
10:01 am

@the gooch

May 10th, 2011
3:14 pm

Spoken like someone who’s never been to Inman Park and only frequents the downtown area to see a sporting event or a concert. Or, perhaps if you feel really adventurous, you might hit little 5 points. Stay in the suburbs where it’s white and safe.

Ari Northington

May 13th, 2011
2:26 am

Piedmont, Piedmont, Piedmont!

snb

May 13th, 2011
8:40 am

Centinnial Park

sr citizen dawg

May 13th, 2011
10:32 am

Besse Branham park in Kirkwood (for nostalgic reasons)

joshdylan

May 13th, 2011
1:53 pm

Grant Park, Venetian, Red Top Mt/exurb of metro ATL–i say it can be included.

Either Grant Park or Piedmont Park or some hidden park in VAHI–would have been my first park.

all good.

Gaylord

May 15th, 2011
3:56 pm

i love to frolic and play at Piedmont!

Kalki

May 15th, 2011
3:59 pm

Panola Mtn Park or Arabian Park

EC

May 15th, 2011
4:38 pm

for folks with kids, Grant Park: good public pool, the zoo, good ball fields, good playground, nice shaded bike path, and not overcrowded.

luxomni

May 15th, 2011
4:42 pm

Stone Mountain Parks, followed by the Chattahoochee River parks.

DecaturKev

May 15th, 2011
4:51 pm

I think it’s called Lullwater Park: the small park across from the Driving Miss Daisy House, on Lullwater Road in Druid Hills. It’s quiet, well-maintained, and a beautiful setting as Lullwater Creek winds through it. Doggie likes it, too!

Rich

May 15th, 2011
5:47 pm

Without a doubt, it’s Piedmont Park. It has something for everyone: a renovated pool, staging areas, beach volleyball area, soccer fields, dog walks, a lake, children play areas, next door to the Botanical Gardens, and it does not have the big rock with conderate reminders.

Nora

May 15th, 2011
5:49 pm

Well, gosh, I almost hate to mention my favorite park because I like to keep it “my little secret”! But it is Roswell Area Park off Woodstock Road. I have to give kudos to the City of Roswell for keeping this park in absolute pristine condition. It has fields for soccer, football, baseball, and lacross, tennis courts, playground, and a community center with a pool. But the BEST part is the gently rolling 3.1 mile loop trail that winds through the shady, wooded park, past all the fields, and around a pond. No bicycles are allowed on the trail which makes it the ideal running path. The restroom facilities aren’t brand new but they are always clean. There is never so much as a gum wrapper on the ground at any time because the crew is constantly maintaining it. I have been going to this park regularly for 15
years. I love it.

iRun

May 15th, 2011
6:27 pm

I hate to say it aloud…Candler Park.

The reason I ate to say it is because if this parks gets to be well known then it will ruin what I love about it.

Don’t get me wrong, Piedmont Park is GREAT. It should be since it’s the main city park. But I personally feel Candler Park is the next best park. Grant Park is really no longer a park, just a zoo (there is the rest of the park but it’s now contaminated by the zoo). But Candler Park is still just a park…9 hole golf, great playground for kids, extensive fields for playing soccer or kickball, etc, and the most important thing…it’s so integrated into the neighborhood you can walk a few steps out of the park to get pizza at Fellinis or Cuban food at LaFonda. Or a bottle of wine from the Candler Park Market.

jay smith

May 15th, 2011
6:41 pm

Chastain, the biggest (286 acres) and busiest (nearly a million visitors a year) is the ‘family room’ for Atlanta park-goers. It’s where Atlanta gathers — to attend concerts, swim, play golf or tennis, ride horses, walk or run the PATH, attend school (Galloway) or root for the 1,400 baseball and softball players who grace the ball fields of the Northside Youth Organization. There’s a VFW facility, an arts center and plenty of green space, grills, and playground gear for great family outings. Thanks to the Chastain Park Conservancy, it’s safe, it’s clean and it’s getting better every day.

jsmtih

May 15th, 2011
7:36 pm

piedmont park???? are you kidding me?? that place is nasty !! and the people that frequent the park make it even worse