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Intrenchment Creek Park--Trail Run

The Basics:
Event Type:Trail Run
Event Location: South River Trail Intrenchment Creek Trailhead   Trail Run: Intrenchment Creek Park--Trail Run  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Aug 7 2020  7:30 am >> Fri, Aug 7 2020 8:30 am
Registration Opens: Thu, Aug 6 2020 10:00 am
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Aug 7 2020 7:00 am
Event Duration:1 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Allen D
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 1 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


Come join a casual trail run on mostly flat trails in Intrenchment Creek Park (ICP), a relatively new and undeveloped park in southwest DeKalb County.  We may ramble around the flat trails of this park, and down to the creek. We will wind our way around the area, getting in about 5 miles as we see the sights. What were all these "intrenchments" designed to do? 

Now that it's getting hot, I want to start some early runs and would love some company.  I will have hikes at this park too.  Note: This event will coincide with a trail run for RUN! EAV, and total participants will be 10 or less.

Beginning runners are welcome who are comfortable with jogging for 45 min-1 hour with breaks to play in the creek, admire Grandpa Oaks, watch deer, and explore. The pace will be equivalent to 10-12 minute miles.  The whole group stays together and if you can keep a steady jog, you should do fine.  

The trails are well worn, no rocks, and unmarked, with grass and leaves overlapping. After rains they can be muddy, but they are in good shape now. There is very little poison ivy, (though a tree keeps faking me out with its similar leaves.) You will have the opportunity to train your eye to know the difference.

ICP trail Map aerial photo

Drone video of Atlanta Prison Farm, and showing different forest types, mostly on the W side of the creek.  The park is on the E side of the creek. The trailhead is in the pine forest in the distant left background of the opening panorama.

Old Atlanta Prison Farm Map  (aerial photo)

Required Items to Bring:

Comfortable shoes

Water, as you need

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Change of shoes after the run


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

South River Intrenchment Creek Park Trailhead

From the North and West, 

Take I-20 E to Flat Shoals Rd in DeKalb County. Take exit 62 from I-20 E
11 min (9.5 mi)

LEFT on Flat Shoals over I-20

RIGHT immediately on Fayetteville Road.  Follow 0.8 miles to next light

STRAIGHT through intersection and the road becomes Bouldercrest.

Take Bouldercrest Dr SE    2.1 Miles

When Bouldercrest bends to left, go STRAIGHT onto West Side Pl  


FROM the East and South:

Follow I-285 to Bouldercrest Rd. Take exit 51 from I-285 

Turn North, and Follow Bouldercrest Rd and Constitution Rd SE to West Side Pl
3 min (1.0 mi)

Pass by Hardee's (on the right in 0.2 mi)    0.5 mi

Continue STRAIGHT onto Constitution Rd SE    0.4 mi

Turn RIGHT onto West Side Pl  



The park was created "in perpetuity" by the Blank Foundation and given to DeKalb County.  It has a pine plantation, riparian woods, and an RC airplane airport. Across the creek you might see ruins of the old prison farm, two ponds, old orchards, and some stone edifices from the Carnegie Library which was torn down decades ago. More pictures HERE.

Originally, the land was purchased by the US government during WW I for a prisoner of war camp, but never used. It was converted into a prison farm which cleared almost the entire property, drained the floodplain, had a dairy for dozens of cows, and was active into the second half of the 20th century. All the woods,  except for a few sentinel trees, have grown up since then.  We will walk by a grand Oak in the flood plain that was not cleared, and several magnificent trees.

NOTE:  You can also pick up 6 miles of the PATH system South River Trail at this parking lot. It takes you through the woods all the way to GA State University Perimeter campus via the Michelle Obama Trail.  Almost no one is on this trail, which may someday connect to the Beltline and Panola Mountain Trail system. 

URGENT: The park is the only hiking area in South Atlanta between Sweetwater Creek SP and Panola Mountain, and it is already threatened by a land swap that county commissioners have approved, but may be illegal and several steps must be completed.  An expanding movie studio across the street was offered expansion land by a county official, and you may wonder if this is appropriate. Is it worth it to sprawl into a last green space because a studio won't expand on existing developed land?  A short video describes the park and the struggle.

In the long run, the Park may grow into the old honor farm and a few dedicated citizens are hoping to save it.  Further, it is part of an extended vision of green space that might include Constitution Lakes, the Dolls Head trail, and now Lake Charlotte Preserve in Fulton County, among other loosely protected plots.  More voices and hands needed for this important green space.  The South River Watershed Alliance is stewarding this vision. This vulnerable land is in the situation of Chattahoochee parks before they became a National Recreation Area. Other large tracts in the area are getting bulldozed. Let us act together to protect the remaining few! 

Find out more at StoptheSwap. org.  Donations welcome!

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