Big things are afoot for bikers in North Fulton, with the cities of Alpharetta and Roswell leading the way. We will be talking with transportation and parks officials from both cities during our Big Creek Greenway Bike & Brewery Tour on Saturday, July 15th.
Not only will you be riding on one of the most beautiful bike paths in the Atlanta area, you'll get the lowdown on progress to extend the Big Creek Greenway to 20+ miles in length, the connections to Milton's extensive loop paths, the Greenway connection to the network of trails & parks that currently ring the Chattahoochee, and the master plan in the works to connect all this up to both the ITP networks (including the Atlanta Beltline) and the Silver Comet Trail. You'll also see and hear about a groundbreaking public art program initiated by Alpharetta that is about to be launched county wide. Plus there's beer at the end of the trail.
ABOUT THIS TOUR
This tour was designed and will be led by UXATL member, Tim Sullivan. The Big Creek Greenway is a wonderfully-maintained, ten foot wide concrete trail that follows the Big Creek as it winds it's way through the beautiful North Fulton woods. There are actually two parts to the trail. The northern end of the trail starts in Cumming and heads south to McFarland Parkway. A few miles further south, the southern part of the trail picks up again at Marconi Road and winds it's way through Alpharetta, into Roswell then ends at Big Creek Park on Old Alabama Road, just around the corner from the Holcomb Bridge exit on GA 400. Each section is approximately seven miles in length. We will be biking the southern trail this time.
- Arrive at The Abbey at 11:30-11:45.
- Leave on bikes promptly at noon.
- Arrive back at The Abbey at 2:15.
Our starting route will leave the Abbey parking lot, take us up the hill, through the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater parking lot, then down the hill, across GA400 on a brand new bridge, through some more parking lots, straight across North Point Road next to the mall, then drop straight down into the middle of the trail at the North Point Blvd. access path.
Although the Big Creek Trail is pretty much flat, it's constantly turning and never boring, the kind of trail you bike for hours without realizing how far you've gone. We'll shoot for a complete loop of the trail (15-ish miles, plus about 3 total miles to/from the Abbey... 18 miles total). But we'll stop at intervals to assess how we feel that day in case you don't want to go that far. Since we'll be going up and back on the same trail, it's easy to turn around if we choose. We'll leave the trail via the Mansell Road exit because the route back to the Abbey is easier/flatter from there. Then we'll eat at the Abbey while we drink!
You are not required to drink or eat with us. That's completely up to you. The Abbey's charge for beer is $15, which entitles you to six 8-ounce pours of your choice. The cost of the food will be split by the folks who want to be included in the food order. The Abbey doesn't offer food but they're fine with us ordering in. So I am considering pizza or something we can have delivered. We'll take a vote that day. Another idea is to offer cheese and chocolate pairings that match well with the Abbey's Belgian style beers. The Abbey has hosted these events so I'll inquire with them what is best to buy.
The Greenway is a very flat, easy ride. Between the greenway and the Abbey, though, there will be hills. Unless you're a strong "fixie" rider, I recommend a bike with gears because you'll need them in a few spots. Most of the route will be on quiet roads. I'm also routing us through as many parking lot shortcuts as possible to stay away from traffic. There are one or two pinch points where we'll have to wait for traffic, and we'll be riding on the sidewalk on Mansell Road in order to stay away from traffic. Overall, I think you'll love the creative "urban adventure" feeling of this route, and you'll be blown away by the beauty in the Greenway!
For those of you who want to eat something small before the ride, I will be going to my favorite spot for pastries and egg sandwiches first. It's called 'Sugar Shack In The Back' and it's behind 'The Fickle Pickle' at 1085 Canton Street in downtown Roswell. I will be there by 10:15am. Join me!
Tim Sullivan, UXATL Member
This trip is comfortable on any type of bike. We won't be going fast, so a hybrid is be
Directions: From Atlanta
- GA Route 400 to the Mansell Road exit 8.
- Left (west) on Mansell Road. Go to Westside Parkway (top of the hill after Volvo & VW dealers) - 0.6 miles
- Right on Westside Parkway. Go down the hill to light at Old Roswell Rd - 0.3 miles.
- Left on Old Roswell Rd. Go to Northfield Place. It's an office park just after the metal guardrail ends. - 200 yards
- Left on Northfield Place into the office park (the big office park sign says 4000 Northfield Way).
- Take the 2nd right, then a right turn into the parking lot. Park here.
- Big Creek Greenway: http://www.bigcreekgreenway.com/
- Abbey of the Holy Goats: http://abbeyoftheholygoats.com/
- Sugar Shack in the Back: https://www.facebook.com/SugarShackintheBack/
- Tour is limited to 15 riders.
- Each rider must register separately.
- All riders must wear helmets.