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Big Creek Greenway spans nearly 20 miles, connecting Cumming, Alpharetta, and Roswell. The paved trail is currently open in two disconnected sections with a gap of a couple miles in northeast Alpharetta.
The southern portion (Roswell/Alpharetta section) runs parallel to, and on the east side of, North Point Parkway. With the opening of the new section north of Webb bridge, it now extends from the dead end on Marconi Drive (off Windward Parkway) south 8.6 miles to a parking lot at Big Creek Park off Old Alabama Road near Holcomb Bridge Road in Fulton County.
There are restrooms at the YMCA and Kimball Bridge parking areas (Rockmill Park) and at the southern end of Big Creek Park. Kimball Bridge also has a nice gazebo with picnic tables. You will find a few nature trails as side excursions and plenty of wildlife viewing. Look for wild turkeys, green herons and deer; also, be wary of copperhead snakes.
The northern section (Forsyth County portion) extends from McFarland Parkway north to Cumming. This section of the route is heavily forested. A highlight is passage through Fowler Park (4110 Carolene Way, Cumming), which has numerous recreational amenities, including tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, playgrounds, and a skate park.
Because the trail encompasses marshy areas, flooding can occur, making the trail inaccessible in places. Check the trail's website for condition updates.
There are parking areas off North Point Parkway near the YMCA, Kimball Bridge Road, Haynes Bridge Road, North Point Parkway (near Ethan Allen), and Mansell Road as well as various access points behind subdivisions and businesses. Parking is also available at Bethelview Road and on the southern end at McFarland Road (just on the east side of SR400).
I have lived near the Big Creek/Greenway trail for over 10 yrs. I am there everyday either walking my dogs or bike riding.
It is quiet, peaceful and has wild life.
In addition to road biking there. There are off-road trails as well as hiking trails too.
I really had a terrible time getting any sort of bearings on this paved trail. It's mostly cyclers on it (I run or walk) and without having maps and signs it's challenging to find your way around, to restrooms and back to your parking location. There are bridges and a very few inclines but none overly strenuous. More shade than sun which is nice in the neverending Georgia summers.
Normally wouldn't go on a holiday, but in this case, it was the best time for all of the participants. We had our son-in-law, two grand-daughters (14 and 11), my wife and myself. All experienced riders. We expected the trail to be crowded and it was with walking families, very young bike and skateboard riders, folks with dogs, runners and joggers. A great mix and a fun time, most of the time. Then there were a few bikers that thought they owned the trail. One fool just couldn't slow down when coming to a crowded curve and went right off the trail full bore almost into the creek. So, one has to be careful on this trail of the fools on bikes. Overall, we had a great time and will be back again. The Big Creek Trail we rode was the southern part and we trail headed behind the Ethan Allen store on Northpointe Parkway. Good facilities and parking area.
I live right off of trail, so on it constantly. Can get crowded with walkers, joggers, cyclists.
Section linking Alpharetta to Roswell are basically boardwalks, and they get extremely slick after rain or from dew. I took 2 spills in same area on last ride, while noticing pools of blood left on the wood from another cyclist.
Great trail but the wood is very treacherous. I might walk over that section next ride.
My wife and I rode the lower 8 mile section. Loved it! Beautiful scenery, shaded almost completely, no road crossings, no sounds from traffic. Just a very beautiful ride! Only downside are the beautiful wooden boardwalks... When wet, they are very slippery. Saw several bad wrecks.
Two things I forgot in my review below. I forgot to give a 5 star to this review. Also, it is much longer than the 2 miles out and back I noted. The 2 miles is just from one parking area off Old Alabama to the one off North Point Pkwy. The trail actually goes for many miles
As a recent transplant from Michigan I found the terrain around the Alpharetta area to be extremely hilly. Very hard running after being used to running on flat ground. I found this trail after a few weeks here and this is my go to spot now. It is a flat track that is very scenic. I have seen deer on several occasions. If you tell your GPS to go to: 1600 Old Alabama Rd, Roswell, GA it will take you to the first parking area. I would suggest taking that paved road down about 1/4 - 1/2 mile to another parking area that is right next to the trail. It is about a 2 mile trek out and back.
The northern section is a long, fun ride on concrete for about a 14 mile round trip. Very scenic and an enjoyable bike ride. The southern section is a much shorter paved bike/walk path. This section is great for its mountain biking trails. Will definitely be back to both sections.
My wife and I ride our bikes on the Greenway 3 or 4 days a week and consider it way above the norm. The trail is wide, flat and paved for a very easy ride. The only elevation is a slight incline when crossing a few bridges. For safety there is a yellow strip down the middle of the path which helps everyone understand what side they belong on. Though on occasion I have seen a few people being unsafe and basically acting like idiots, the trail is popular so a few bad apples is expected. 99.9% of the people are well behaved and a fun to be around. During the weekend you will see lots of families w/ training wheels, etc. and on weekdays many riders are the fifty and sixty year old crowd doing a leisure ride enjoying the out doors. The views are amazing w/ plenty of hard wood trees, deer, hawks and other wild life. The 15 mph speed limit is reasonable and does not hurt the ride. This is a multi-use trail so besides bike riders there are also walkers (some w/ dogs), joggers and an occasional roller blade. A very friendly family place with many entrance points and easy parking. This trail is a 5-star trail.
Love this trail and can't wait for the extensions to continue north thru Cumming and beyond, so that I will no longer have to drive to trailhead to ride bike!
I walk 4 miles a day along this trail. It's very nice. Stay to your right - lots of bikers as well as joggers and walkers. Lots of deer, heron, turtles, rabbits, snakes, etc. to see along the trails.
This is a great trail from Roswell to Cumming GA, but need to be connected on the missing segment in Alpharetta. Not sure where they are at with the expansion plans. It would be great if they gave priority to connecting both sides rather than expanding at opposite ends. That would make for long great uninterrupted trail for miles and miles! I give it 4stars for now, connect them and it would be a 5stars trail.
Took my family for our first ride yesterday (Monday, January 19, 2015) on the Greenway. Very nice, winding trails. Great landscape. Easy for my kids. However, it was a terrible experience due to one particular guy who passed my four year old (who recently left training wheels) and screamed at her from the top of his lungs as he rode by because she started to enter his lane. Scared her out of her wits. Attempted to put him in his place, but he decided to put me in my place for allowing her on the trail. Granted, the sign said 15 mph, but there were all kinds of people (walkers, bikers, joggers, and strollers, all over the place) and in a public place, one would think that people would be sensitive to this kind of thing with kids. Had no idea what I was getting myself into. Was livid because my daughter almost made a mistake and the guy yelled at her by saying "COME ON!!" I have not been that angry in years and when I confronted him, it was a miracle this did not escalate into a knock down, fist fight. Nevertheless, my point in this review is to WARN all would be families that there are imbecilic, selfish fools out there, who are self-centered enough to tell a little girl to get off the trail for a slight misstep. Truth is, she is great on a bike and we watch all three of them very closely. But some people have no grace. Needless to say I did not have grace with this man and he did not have remorse. I am hesitant to return even though 99.9% of the people were very amiable. The one incident is enough to consider staying away for good. The only reason I am giving this three stars is because of the nice trails and many understanding people. If there is a next time, I will bring a big stick. Keith Beck - 229.894.5013; firstname.lastname@example.org (Woodstock, GA)
We biked this trail from end to end, connecting to the Swanee Greenway . There is a gap, but its great to see that work is ongoing to connect and lengthen both trails. Hats of to the planners for a superb job.
We can't thank enough for such a wonderful nature trail close to our home, but I always wonder why they can't raise the level or put a raised wooden platform or raised, combed concrete path which will allow the water to flow from one side to other ........ Do something about it. The trail almost becomes useless for walkers for 2-3 days after the heavy rain. and 2013 has been a rainy year. The flooding seems to occur at same points so please do something about it.
An excellent ride on a 65 degree fall Monday afternoon. Started at the McFarland road parking area just east of ga 400 and rode to the terminus at Bethelview road in Cumming. about 14 miles or so there and back. Not a speed trail as there are some narrow and sharp turns on boardwalk and in spots many walkers were present for a weekday afternoon.
There is more raised boardwalk then concrete and it is quite slippery if wet. There are also 2 road crossings , one on busy highway nine that of which you need to be careful.
Very nice forest, meadow and creek scenery all along its length I would very much recommend this for a leisurely paced ride.
This is a wonderful trail, but I must say in all my years of mountain biking, I never hurt myself as bad as I did going from the concrete section to the boardwalk on the Roswell side. It had rained the previous day and the boardwalk was slick with algae. I went down before I could compensate and my shoulder is still talking to me about it! (Like an idiot, I just got up and rode the rest of the way determined not to miss out of a great ride.)Easy path with good visibility all around. Just remember how slick that boardwalk gets and you'll be fine
My wife and I rode 20 miles on the Roswell/Alpharetta portion (southern part) this past Saturday. We doubled back a few miles to make the 20 miles. The temp was in the high 60's, an unusually nice day for this time of the year in Georgia. This is a very nice scenic trail and no doubt will become a destination trail once the southern and northern parts are hooked up. The southern part is a winding, but flat trail. You will be pedaling 99.5% of the way. This is great trail for every one as we saw many walkers, runners, roller bladers and plenty of folks with pets. it was fun to see everyone. There are a few of the usual Lance wannabees that do not warn you when they try to go by you. Be careful. The only other complaints are that the Roswell portion needs to be striped and the Big Creek Park parking lot needs to be paved. It's a muddy mess when wet. Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable experience.
This is a very nice trail - almost entirely flat and well paved with nice scenery. It does suffer from a lack of maps and signage, however. The parking area at Big Creek Park off Old Alabama Rd. has a nice map of the trail, but that's about it except for another one at the north end of the Roswell section. Several forks, turnoffs, and pedestrian only paved sections leave the main trail with no indication where or how far they go. For first time visitors, there could be some confusion. I will print a map before going again, which will solve the problem. All in all, strongly recommended for a nice ride.
Great Trail, well kept and beautiful nature!!!
I do this trail on inlines several days a week. The Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta and Big Creek park in Roswell are connected so the total round trip is a smidge under 15 miles.
Pristine concrete, well shaded, one road crossing, a few moderate grades but typically level. The Big Creek Park portion has a few short boardwalks. They are relatively easy to skate on unless wet.
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