The Big Creek Greenway ribbons through 8.3 miles of Alpharetta and Roswell, leading you alongside the Big Creek and taking you over bridges, past meadows, ponds and nature trails. The paved trail has a minimal grade, so you can easily setting into a comfortable, consistent pace. Once you’re on the trail, you feel immersed in nature, and you can focus on getting in your miles for the day, without the distractions that are common on roads. Throughout your run, you’ll find convenient stops at parking lots with bathrooms and water, and along the trail you can take a break at one of the many benches situated along the path.
What Makes It Great
It’s rare to find a trail like this where you'll find plenty of other runners and cyclists, yet you feel the solitude and peacefulness. As you run alongside Big Creek, keep an eye out for ducks splashing in the pond. In winter, the trees are thin and it’s easier to see through the thinning trees and into the creek, the meadows or the woods. On quiet mornings, you can even catch a glimpse of deer- we found a group of five grazing in a pasture between Rock Mill Park and Haynes Bridge Road. In summer, the trees create a canopy of shade that provides a reprieve from the heat. Just after Mansell Road when you’re heading into Roswell, keep an eye out for the hiking trails. They’re short and the switchbacks carve the side of a large slope. They act as relief from the pavement.
Make an afternoon of the Big Creek Greenway- after your run, stop for lunch on one of the benches, or at Rock Mill Park, where there are plenty of picnic tables. Ponds are buzzing with wildlife in spring, and the cattails sway in the breeze.
Who is Going to Love It
Runners looking to get in their long run on pavement, without the concerns of stop-and-go traffic will enjoy logging miles on the Big Creek Greenway. The scenery is peaceful, varying between the creek, shallow ponds and open meadows. You can feel comfortable running alone here because the path is in a safe suburban neighborhood. Compared to Silver Comet Trail, another paved trail in Atlanta, the Greenway is shorter and populated throughout the entire path.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are 6 access points for Alpharetta and Roswell’s section of the Greenway. A list of trailheads can be found here. Parking at all lots is free of charge. You’ll find bathroom facilities at all the trailheads except Haynes Bridge Road. We recommend starting at Rock Mill Park, where a bike service station to pump your tires or do general bike maintenance is located outside the bathrooms. Dogs are welcomed if leashed. Adhere to the trail rules: pedestrians have right of way and you must always stay to the right, whether walking, running or cycling.