Eastern Continental Divide: North of Gainesville

Picking up where the last one left off, this gets you out of the burbs and into the woods. At the northern end, it gets you into the mountains, even.

The route through Gainesville is rather arbitrary and I’m not sure how close it follows the divide.

You are pretty much running parallel to US 23 (when you are not actually on US 23) all the way.

The early parts of this route are very close to Lake Lanier.

From Lula through Mt. Airy, you are running directly beside the Norfolk Southern main line.

I have only been as far north on this route as Alto, so I can’t really say what the remainder of it looks like.

The end point here looks to be about as far as you can follow the ECD on public roads. From here, the ECD turns westward and generally forms the Habersham/Rabun county border until meeting the Tennessee Valley Divide at Young Lick.  I don’t see any roads that directly follow this ridge, not even dirt Forest Service roads. From Young Lick, the ECD continues north on the Appalachian Trail. At that point, following the divide becomes more of a matter of hiking than driving.

ecd3-fixed

Google Maps Link

Start on Aviation Blvd, continue east from last time
Right on GA 60
Left on West Ridge Rd
Right on Athens St
Left on East Ridge Rd
Left on Old Cornelia Highway
Right on US 129
Left on White Sulphur Rd
Left to stay on White Sulphur Rd
Left on Cagle Rd
Right on GA 52
Sharp left on GA 51
Continue onto Main Street (Lula)
Continue onto Gainsville Highway
Continue onto Old Cornelia Highway
Continue onto Willingham Ave
Continue onto Main Street (Cornelia)
Right on Highland Ave
Left to stay on Highland Ave
Continue on Chenocetha Dr
Right on Wyly St
Continue on Dicks Hill Pkwy
Left on Rock Rd
Left on Antioch Church Rd
Right on US 23/US 441
Right on John Wood Rd
Left on Tom Born Rd
Right on Old Historic US 441
Left on The Orchard Rd
Right on Bear Gap Rd

Eastern Continental Divide: Duluth to Gainesville

Picking up where the previous route through Atlanta ended, this follows the ECD (within the limits of road placement) through the northeastern metro area. To be honest this is a rather boring drive through the suburbs. You can skip to the next post to pick it up where things get mildly interesting again.

The earlier part has some shenanigans with Old Peachtree Road, leaving it without turning and turning to stay on it at different points.

The segment on GA 20 is an area where no road follows the ECD. If you look close at a topo map you’ll see this section crosses a creek, not something you’ll see when following a ridge line.

The segment on GA 124 passes the site of Ft. Daniel, one of the original endpoints of the trail that became Peachtree Road.

The GA 13 portion mostly runs closely parallel to I-985.

Gainesville’s airport is an arbitrary stopping point dictated mainly by limitations on the number of route modifications that Google Maps allows you to make.

ecd2-fixed

(Aside: notice how close the divide is to Lake Lanier? The western edge of Lake Lanier’s drainage basin is also visible on this map, over near GA highway 9. The lake is really not very far at all from the boundaries of the area drained by it.)

Google Maps Link

Start at Old Peachtree Rd and I-985, go east
Left on Northbrook Pkwy
Continue on Old Peachtree Rd
Continue on Horizon Dr
Left on Old Peachtree Rd (yes, again)
Left on Rock Springs Rd
Right on GA 20
Left on Old Peachtree Rd
Left on GA 124/Braselton Hwy
Left on Hamilton Mill Rd
Right on Ridge Rd
Continue onto Hog Moutain Rd
Right on GA 13
Right on Industrial Blvd
Right on Aviation Blvd

Union Hill Road: Cemetery, Ghost Roads, Skeleton Houses

Sometimes I use Ronald Reagan Blvd as an alternate to GA 400 between exits 11 and 12. This road goes through mostly vaporware developments – planned subdivisions, some of which don’t seem to have even started construction, others seem to have had some grading and nothing else. Lots of places where they put it in a turn off of the main road but it just dead-ends into a field. That sort of thing. This is literally where the streets have no name.

Recently I noticed, off to the west side of the road, what appeared to be a graveyard on a hill overlooking a construction zone. I decided to try to find it.

Now, on the map, it looks like you can get there via Union Hill Road:

unionhillrd

But, where I drew that red line across the road, that’s where you find this gate:

IMG_7965

So, clearly I’m not driving there. It was a nice day for a walk, though. You can  of see some traces (as in the next photo, on the right path) that this road was once paved, but the pavement is very much going back to nature. Maybe it will someday again be paved. I hope not.

IMG_7966

At the end of the road is another gate. This one has a “no trespassing” sign but the sign is facing the other way from where I came. I don’t know who they are trying to keep out from that direction.

IMG_7970

Beyond the gate is the cemetery:

IMG_7971

Most of the graves seem to belong to a James family, and on the topographical USGS map this is in fact marked as “James Cem”. The most recent date I saw was 1978, but they are mostly 19th century dates. Confederate flags are planted next to several that are Civil War era.

IMG_7974

IMG_7977

This graveyard clearly is still maintained, someone cuts the grass here and those flags look pretty new.

After this, I decided as a bonus to explore some nearby old houses back on the road.

This is all that’s visible from the street, and really gives no clue:

IMG_8009

The inside of this building has some graffiti, but even that is dated from 2001!

IMG_7999 IMG_8002

Dig this chair!

IMG_8004

The adjacent buildings here are nothing but frame. Only a little bit of siding remains, someone has removed the rest of it.

Now all the remains is the “bones”, facing out over the empty field.

IMG_7985

IMG_7987

IMG_7990

All those new neighborhoods being built nearby, some of those people in those houses must have kids. I hope those kids run around unsupervised in these fields and these woods and ruins, trespassing and risking injury. One can dream.

Flickr Album of these photos

Map of SOME roads called “Peachtree”

Not shown: West Peachtree Street, Peachtree Battle Avenue, Peachtree Corners Circle, and a million more. Boundary between Peachtree Street and Peachtree road is guesswork and probably wrong. The city makes no real distinction between them. The boundary has something to do with where the city limits were and/or where the pavement gave way to dirt, at some arbitary time in the past.

I think this might be the only map like this around; I would not have bothered to make it if I could have found one.

For Non-Atlanta people, when someone says “Peachtree” with no other qualifier, they mean Peachtree Street or Peachtree Road from downtown northward to the point where Peachtree Industrial Boulevard begins. Anything else requires more information to differentiate what you mean. (Those are also the only Peachtrees that are considered important, at least by people who live ITP. The others are just curiously named extensions)

Don’t get worked up about the blocky lines or inexactness. I made this thing in MS Paint for crying out loud.

Notice that from Norcross to the northeast, the older roads tend to follow the Eastern Continental Divide.

This is my source for information about the original Peachtree trail.

Driving Tour of the Eastern Continental Divide in Atlanta

ecd_driving

This is about as good as I can do, the part in downtown Atlanta is particularly sloppy because the ECD actually runs through the Gulch.

Click For Google Map

To future-proof it against changes in the Google Maps site, this is the text:

Start at I-75 exit 223
Head north on Jonesboro Rd
Turn right onto N Lake Dr
Turn left onto Forest Pkwy
Turn right onto Jonesboro Rd
Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Courtney Dr
Slight left onto Main St
Turn left onto Hale Rd
Turn right onto Central Ave
Continue onto Old Dixie Hwy
Continue onto Porsche Ave
Continue onto S Central Ave
Turn left onto Irene Kidd Pkwy
Turn right onto GA-14 N/US-29 N/Main St
Continue to follow GA-14 N/US-29 N
Continue straight onto Peters St SW
Peters St SW turns slightly right and becomes Trinity Ave SW
Turn left onto Forsyth St SW
Turn right onto Marietta St NW
Continue onto Decatur St SE
Continue onto DeKalb Ave NE
Continue onto W Howard Ave
Turn right onto N McDonough St
Turn left at the 1st cross street onto GA-10 E/US-278 E/E College Ave
Continue to follow GA-10 E/US-278 E
Turn left onto N Clarendon Ave
Slight right at Wells St
Slight right onto E Ponce De Leon Ave
Turn left onto Mountain Industrial Blvd
Turn left onto Hugh Howell Rd
Turn right onto GA-236 W/GA-8 E/US-29 N
Turn left onto Lavista Rd
Slight right onto Chamblee Tucker Rd
Continue straight onto Tucker Norcross Rd
Turn right to stay on Tucker Norcross Rd
Continue onto S Norcross Tucker Rd
Turn left onto Jimmy Carter Blvd
Turn right onto S Peachtree St
Slight left to stay on S Peachtree St
Turn left onto Park Dr
Turn right onto N Peachtree St
N Peachtree St turns slightly left and becomes Medlock Bridge Rd NW
Turn right onto S Old Peachtree Rd
Continue onto Industrial Park Dr NW
Turn right onto N Berkeley Lake Rd NW
Turn left onto GA-13 N/US-23 N
Turn left onto S Peachtree St
Turn left onto Hardy Industrial Blvd
Turn right onto Hill St NW
Turn right onto Abbotts Bridge Rd
Turn left onto Main St
Turn right onto Brock St
Turn right onto Old Peachtree Rd NW
End at I-85 exit 109

“53.9 mi, 1 hour 54 mins”

 

Peachtree Rd. -Created from a Creek Indian Trail – History and GPS Maps

A trail known as the Peachtree Trail stretched from Standing Pitch Tree along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta to Fort Daniel located at Hog Mountain in present-day Gwinnett County. The Peachtree Road construction began in 1812. Many portions of present-day roads trace this route.

via Peachtree Road.

The page then proceeds to follow the route along those roads (which actually does not include any of Peachtree Street south of Buckhead), including portions that are no longer driveable and must be walked.

Dig the photos of the author walking them, too.

Just Gulch Things

This is the main area of the gulch, the biggest open-to-the-sky piece of ground in downtown Atlanta. As you can see it is currently a parking lot.



This area is directly in the middle of the triangle formed by the railroads at the center of Atlanta. In former times this would have been a tangle of yard tracks.

You would never know it but this is also on the Eastern Continental Divide.

Lots of people have ideas about what to do with this space. The Multimodal Passenger Terminal, if ever built, would use this space. There are also various plans to built elevated parks/plazas over the top of all this, up at the level where the viaducts run.

As it is, this space serves the city mainly as a place for tailgating during Falcons games.

These next are some pictures of the area between the Spring and Forsyth viaducts. Fairlie street runs into this parking lot from the north and ends. Cars frequently turn down Fairlie and then turn around once they realize it doesn’t go anywhere.







The two sets of tracks that split here form two sides of the “triangle”. This is one of the vertices. It is the only one that has a grade crossing that is still open to cars in modern times directly at the point of the triangle. It is also much simpler than the other corners, there being only two tracks here that have not been abandoned.

Formerly this was the location of Union Station, and the trackage would have been more complex. You can see unused rails in the dirt.

This connection called “circle Jubction” is the current mile zero of  CSX’s Western and Alantic subdivision. The historical “zero milepost” is located slightly east inside a building. I believe it was the post that moved, not the railroad.

Another notable thing, you can actually drive beside trains for a few blocks through the underground parking decks to the east of here, without having to pay to park. You would be driving (I think) on the original alignment of Wall Street (with the modern street directly overhead) and you will pass under the intersection with Peachtree. You should try that once before they do something to mess it up.

Brown’s Bridge

(null)(null)

Located on the border of Forsyth and Hall counties on state route 369, spanning Lake Lanier. There have been bridges at this spot over the Chattahoochee since before the lake was created. This current bridge was built in 1955.

There is a very similar bridge to the north on route 53. The part of Lake Lanier spanned by that bridge is actually the Chestatee River, above the confluence with the Hooch that is now submerged by the lake.

Both of these bridges are set for replacement. Two-lane through-truss bridges like this are an endangered species on our highways.

link to BridgeHunter page for Brown’s Bridge