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Duluth Massage

Murphy Candler Park Nature Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 2.2 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: DeKalb County, GA Our rating: E
Features: swimming, scenic, picnicking, lake, family Your rating:
Usage: Light Added on: September 04, 2010
Last hiked: September 05, 2010 Updated on: May 01, 2013
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Hiking trails in DeKalb County, GA

Directions to Murphy Candler Park Nature Trail


Built in the late 1950's by the local Kiwanis Club, Murphy Candler Park is a 135-acre park located in the Dunwoody section of northeast Atlanta that features baseball, fishing, a swimming pool and picnic tables. Candler was a Dekalb County resident who served in both the Georgia House and Georgia Senate and as chair of the Georgia State Railroad Commission. He is generally noted for his reform-minded moves, especially when serving as chair of the Railroad Commission, and that his grandfather, C. A. Murphy was an early settler of Atlanta. His son, Dekalb County Commissioner Scott Candler, played a pivotal role in the creation of Stone Mountain Park.

Murphy Candler Hike

Murphy Candler Lake
The hike can be accessed from any parking lot or pavilion, but our favorite entrance is the one after crossing the dam across Nancy Creek that creates the lake when coming from Ashford-Dunwoody Road. As the small parking lot ends a poured concrete path carries hikers to the first bridge, an old iron modular bridge with wooden planks. After crossing the bridge turn right and continue along the lakeshore in full sun.

As the trail moves into the woods at .4 miles it becomes root-bound in areas and somewhat more rocky than the lakeshore hike. As you travel north on this loop trail, notice the gentrification of the lake. As silt from residential runoff fills the natural river valley, plant growth overcomes and chokes movement from the river. If left undredged, the river valley that once held the lake will begin to look more like the surrounding forest. Wooden bridges carry hikers over tributaries and in one area, over a natural wetland of Nancy Creek. Immediately following the bridge over the wetland, at 1.2 miles the trail crosses the North Fork Nancy Creek, which is the larger of the two forks, but is dependent on local runoff for most of its flow.

After crossing the Nancy Creek bridge the trail rises easily to a low ridge about 30 above Murphy Candler Lake. Follow this ridge trail past picnic areas and pavilions to the entrance to the park, then cross the dam on a concrete sidewalk, returning to your car.


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