In 1993, PATH began building Atlanta’s first greenway trail in Southwest Atlanta. At that time the famous band leader, Lionel Hampton, had the largest single tract of privately-owned land inside I-285. The tract, purchased as an investment for future development followed Utoy Creek from Flamingo Road to Westview Cemetery and Beecher Hills Elementary School. The founders of PATH approached Mr. Hampton about weaving a trail through the property to which he responded favorably. Mr. Hampton actually came to Atlanta and cut the ribbon to open the trail in the Spring of 1994.
This month, PATH and our partners Atlanta BeltLine and the City of Atlanta will dedicate the Southwest BeltLine Connector Trail between the Lionel Hampton Trail and Westwood Avenue, Beecher Elementary School, and Rogers Street.
Area neighbors have already populated the trail, forming groups for walking and biking and traveling to the playground and the Lifecycle Health Equipment Center along the Lionel Hampton Trail near Willis Mill Road. The complex was built by the City of Atlanta Parks Department in 2010.
Matthew Presley, who represents “Westview with a Vision” and is a neighbor to the trail says the trail can be a safe way for the kids to access Beecher Elementary School without crossing busy streets. “The trail is also beautiful and convenient for seniors to enjoy a walk down a shady path,” he said.
The Southwest BeltLine Connector was originally introduced as the way to connect Council District 11 to the Atlanta BeltLine. (The BeltLine will pass through every other council district in the city, except for District 11). PATH worked with the City staff and then Councilman Jim Maddox to secure funding and right-of-way for the trail. A large portion of the funding came from Opportunity Bonds associated with the demolition of Fulton County stadium. Your contributions to PATH completed funding for the project.
PATH is already working with city officials to connect the end of the Southwest BeltLine Connector to West End and Westview Drive. In addition, PATH is partnering with the City to extend the Southwest BeltLine Connector Trail to John A. White and Adams Parks.