The Atlanta BeltLine will link more than 40 neighborhoods, multiple public parks, and mass transit stations in a planned 33-mile trail network throughout the city. Rather than the straight line of a typical rail-trail, the growing BeltLine will form a 22-mile loop around the city, with another 11 miles of spur trail that tie in to neighborhoods and parks. While not precisely a circle—it was once dubbed the "green ghost" for its shape—the rail-trail at the core of the project comprises four different inactive freight lines.
Currently, the trail network is open in four disconnected segments that total about seven miles, all paved:
West End Trail: This first section of the Atlanta BeltLine opened in 2008. It now stretches 2.3 miles.
Northside Trail: This mile-long segment opened in 2010.
Eastside Trail: This segment of just over 2 miles opened in 2012.
Southwest Connector Trail: This mile-long segment opened in 2013.
Another three trail segments awaiting development (totaling about four miles) are available as natural hiking trails in the interim.
In the spring of 2014, the first phase of the Atlanta Streetcar will open downtown, just five blocks from the Eastside Trail. Future expansion is planned to connect the streetcar with the BeltLine. The trail and active rail line will form a parallel loop around the city in what is known as a rail-with-trail.
To provide people with a peek at the trail's progress, a number of BeltLine tours are offered. The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership offers free, narrated bus tours of the developing trail on Friday and Saturday mornings, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition leads guided bicycle tours on the weekends, and Trees Atlanta offers seasonal guided walking tours of the trees and plants along the route.
As the Atlanta BeltLine connects several parks throughout the city, parking can be found in and around these parks, such as Piedmont Park (400 Park Drive NE) for the Eastside Trail, Rose Circle Park (982 Rose Circle SW) for the West End Trail, and Tanyard Creek Park (460 Collier Road NW) for the Northside Trail.