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The Beltline's Eastside Trail freshly paved in June, 2012.

ANGEL POVENTUD

The Beltline's Eastside Trail freshly paved in June, 2012.

Best new shiny pretty thing: Eastside Trail

Staff Pick

Atlanta Beltline officials will tell you the coolest shortcut between Piedmont Park and Inman Park isn't officially open yet, but even they know the Eastside Trail already has plenty of users (gaze on the winding path from Freedom Parkway and you'll see the occasional jogger or hipster bicyclist pedaling toward DeKalb Avenue). The $12 million project - which has been delayed from opening by more than a year thanks to construction issues - isn't just a pretty bike trail. The path, which abuts Ponce City Market and Historic Fourth Ward Park, has helped attract more than six new dense developments with several thousand new housing units and create a buzz around the area between Ponce de Leon Avenue and Freedom Parkway - a vibrant pocket which could become the example of what the Beltline could look and feel like in the decades to come. Not to mention help further boost an already progressive, vibrant neighborhood. (Mark our words: Good luck finding room on the trail when the path opens.) The park's cool and Ponce City Market has promise. But the trail stitches everything, including the neighborhoods along the route, together.

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