My job takes me to Atlanta, Georgia, fairly regularly, which usually means I’m tucked away in some chilly, air-conditioned hotel conference center in the middle of cement and shopping malls. When I’m especially lucky, however, I am in meetings at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and staying on Emory University campus at their hotel. Why lucky? Because this means I have Hahn Woods and Lullwater Preserve in my “backyard” to explore after hours cooped up in meeting rooms!
Off of Houston Mill Road you find Hahn Woods, which has a couple of loops of soft-surface paths that also skirt the creek and cliffs of the shore. I always feel like this area is a lot more remote than it really is! Hahn Woods has a parking lot, and connects to the trails of Lullwater Preserve under the bridge of the road. Yerkes Trail is the official name of the trail connecting the two areas. You’ll know when you get closer to the Lullwater Preserve area as the number of people increase – there will be people lounging in hammocks in the trees, and more walkers and runners on the trails.
Lullwater Preserve forms the northern boundary of Emory University, and has some very neat, historical ruins among the soft-surface trails that follow along the South Fork Peachtree Creek.
Houston Mill is found in the middle was built in 1876 as a mill to grind cornmeal, but was converted to Atlanta’s first hydroelectric power plant in 1900.
Near Candler Lake, some of the paths are paved.
To get to the other side of South Fork Peachtree Creek you can utilize a nice suspension bridge over Candler Lake Dam. I’m not one for heights, much less over water, but this bridge wasn’t all that bad, and means you can extend you hike/walk/run/adventuring just a little bit more!
Now on the north side, there is the power station tower that accompanied the dam. I like old abandoned things, so I soaked up the creepy vibe of the graffiti’d tower in the woods. You can continue taking the trail all the way back to Hahn Woods, or cross back over the bridge to get back to where you started.
I’ve explored the area every time I’ve stayed at Emory Conference Center Hotel. My first time I walked well over 3 miles, and explored the whole area. My latest trip I had some specific running workouts to accomplished, so stayed in the Hahn Woods areas so I could do my hill repeats. Hahn Woods is maybe 0.3 miles down Houston Mill Road from the hotel which is great! Honestly, I can’t state this enough… despite the heat, humidity, and exhausting days of meetings, it is just simply great to get lost among some lush green trees for a few minutes!
Hahn Woods parking lot is located at 866 Houston Mill Road. You can also access the area from the VA Medical Center and the main entrance at 1463 Clifton Rd NE. No bicycles are allowed, and the parks close at dusk. Dogs must be leashed.