Join us for an autumn sunset hike through one of the most beautiful parks in Atlanta. This guided walking tour of Olmsted Linear Park will feature murder, mystery and mayhem plus our usual dose of nature, food and fun! Historian, Jennie Richardson, will be our guide as make our way through the six segments of the Olmsted Linear Park.
- 5:15, Meet in Springdale Park
- 5:30, Guided tour begins
- 6:50, Sunset at the west entrance to Deepdene Park
- 6:55, Moonlight hike through Deepdene Park and walk to Decatur (optional)
- 7:30, Optional dinner in Decatur
* Route and times subject to change. Please be flexible. You may join us anywhere along this route. Your best bet is to take Uber to the starting location and MARTA home from the Decatur transit station.
ABOUT THIS PARKS
The Olmsted Linear Park is two miles long and runs along Ponce de Leon Avenue, through the heart of the historic Druid Hills neighborhood. It stretches from Briarcliff Road on the west to Ridgecrest Road on the east.
The park consists of six segments, each of which has its own distinct look and feel — Springdale, Virgilee, Oak Grove, Shadyside, Dellwood, and Deepdene (an old growth forest).
The area known as Druid Hills was developed by Atlantan Joel Hurt of the Kirkwood Land Company. In 1890 Hurt persuaded Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., who was then working at Biltmore Estate, to travel south to see the 1,500-acre tract he had purchased. Olmsted subsequently agreed to prepare a plan for a residential suburb.
Olmsted submitted a preliminary plan to Hurt in 1893 in which the linear park was first laid out. The firm produced a final plan in 1905, two years after the death of its founder. Olmsted’s sons remained involved with the project until 1908, when the property was acquired by the Druid Hills Corporation. This group of investors, which included Coca-Cola magnate Asa G. Candler, completed development of the suburb and park.
Though the original park design remained intact, plants and installations inconsistent with Olmsted’s aesthetic were added over the years. Poor maintenance and the effects of erosion also contributed to a decline. In the 1980s, the park was threatened by a proposed freeway, though community opposition eventually blocked its construction. To rehabilitate the park, a coalition was formed that included the Olmsted Parks Society, Druid Hills Civic Association, Park Pride, the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fernbank. Representatives drafted a master plan for restoration, aided by specialists in Olmstedian preservation. The Olmsted Linear Park Alliance was created in 1997 to implement the plan.