Finished pieces of the BeltLine loop have their own character and purposes, if not personalities.

The Eastside Trail brings the bustle of a miles-long boardwalk. The Westside Trail has rolling elevation changes and a combination of serenity and connectivity. Buckhead’s Northside Trail features gorgeous views of Tanyard Creek and a soaring train trestle.

The most recently opened section of the future 22-mile loop, the Northeast Trail, has none of that. Or much else. Which could be the best part.

More utilitarian than tourist attraction, the six-segment Northside Trail will one day allow exercisers and non-vehicle commuters to safely pass from the Lindbergh MARTA station area through Piedmont Park and the rest of the eastside. For now, it’s a relatively flat spot for kiddos to learn to ride bikes or pedal safety without crowds. Or to break a sweat while avoiding human beings.

Opened about four months ago, the Northeast Trail’s .7-mile Segment 2 is merely the first step and still considered to be in an “advanced interim” state. Georgia Power managed its construction as part of a project to replace and move a transmission line, and the power company will still occasionally use the path to access and maintain that line.

For now, the Northeast Trail’s highlight could be a ramp that connects up to a street. But sometime this fall, BeltLine officials expect to bid out construction for the next phase, extending the paved section down to the north side of Piedmont Park and installing lights, cameras, and landscaping along the entirety of it, as funded with the BeltLine’s new tax. Also in the works for the next phase is a connection to Piedmont Avenue.

So grab a coffee or seven and head to the gallery to see what the BeltLine’s most uneventful section to date is really like.

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