When the first paved section of the BeltLine’s Northeast Trail debuted in summer 2021, we remarked on these pages (tongue firmly in cheek) that it was so thoroughly boring, a photographer nodded off during a tour.

That segment is a different story now—thanks to hundreds of freshly planted trees.

David Simpson, Trees Atlanta’s planting director, tells Urbanize Atlanta upwards of 500 large trees were planted in a couple of months along the Northeast Trail’s Segment 2, which will be part of the BeltLine link between Piedmont Park and southern Buckhead soon.

Alongside an abundance of shrubs, almost entirely native tree species were used for the .7-mile trail’s landscaping, notes Simpson. Those varieties were staggered and stacked in a way, we should note, that could be called artful.

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback for the installation, because… it had almost an ‘instant forest’ effect,” says Simpson. “[It’s] remarkable due to the high density of trees planted.”

New Trees Atlanta plantings on the Northeast Trail's first finished section, as shown looking north toward Buckhead from the Montgomery Ferry Road bridge. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Trees Atlanta, which recently opened a modern-style new headquarters on the BeltLine’s Westside Trail, plans to install more trees in the BeltLine’s northeastern corridor once the next planting season rolls around this fall, says Simpson.

That’s also when extensions of the current Northeast Trail are expected to finish construction, providing an uninterrupted, 1.2-mile link between the north side of Piedmont Park and the Lindbergh area near SweetWater Brewing Company.

Also in the works for the next phase is a connection up to Piedmont Avenue, just south of Ansley Mall.

Find a quick tour of the Northeast Trail’s beautified Segment 2 in the gallery above. And should you doubt that plantings make a difference, grab a strong coffee and check out the trail in its previous “most boring” state over here.


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ATL BeltLine news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)