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South of downtown Atlanta in the Lakewood Heights neighborhood, the scenic Southtowne Trail provides over two miles of paved trail, passing through some of the area's prettiest natural lands around the South River. The trail begins in the north in South Bend Park, a lovely recreation site with a seasonal outdoor pool and a local arts and culture center. The trail threads through wooded lands near quiet residential neighborhoods, leading into the Swann Nature Preserve, where you can disappear into nature for a good while.
The trail leaves the preserve at Bromack Drive - trail users can follow this low-stress neighborhood road east for about a quarter-mile to reach the next segment of the Southtowne Trail, although it should be noted that the road does not have sidewalks or bike lanes. The paved trail picks up again near the river, heading south along the outskirts of the adjacent golf course and down to Cleveland Avenue, where the Rosel Fann Recreation Center lies just across the street. Offering a variety of indoor recreation activities, the recreation center makes a great stopping point for your trail journey, although the trail does continue a bit further east along the road before turning into a normal sidewalk. The Southtowne Trail helps link nearby residents to a number of recreation sites, and provides access to some beautiful Georgia scenery, a sure draw for people from all across the area and beyond.
Plenty of parking options are available along the trail; in the north, parking is available off of Lakewood Avenue, just across from the intersection with Olive Street. Parking is available at the northern section of the southern segment off of Browns Mill Road SE, and at the southern end at the Rosel Fann Recreation Center and the Brown's Mill Golf Course, both located on Cleveland Avenue SE. To reach the southern end of the trail from Interstate 75, take exit 241 and head east on Cleveland Avenue for about 2 miles.
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