Category Archives: Travel

The (Mostly Legal) Guide to Finding the Quarry from Stranger Things & The Walking Dead

Originally posted February 19th, 2013, updated w/Stranger Things references

Bellwood Quarry was one of the iconic settings in season one of both The Walking Dead and Stranger Things

Let’s say you’re a fan of Strangers Things or The Walking Dead visiting Atlanta for a couple of days. And while you’re in town you suddenly decide you’d like to visit the iconic quarry where Eleven kicked ass, or we first met Shane, Lori and Carl. Your timeline is tight, however, and you haven’t planned ahead, so none of the “official” options are open to you.

No worries: this step-by-step guide will lead you to the borders of Bellwood Quarry, and even get a look at the gorgeous setting itself – as long as you are willing to take a few risks. Hey, it’s a zombie apocalypse we’re talking about, who isn’t willing to take a few risks?

Search long enough on Google and you’ll find a Four Square check-in that gives you the GPS coordinates for the quarry. Follow the directions to those coordinates, however, and you’ll find yourself at a large gate with a security camera on the other side looking your way. Getting into the paranoid nature of the assignment, I opted to park where my license plate wouldn’t be on camera.

The park surrounding the quarry is huge, offering more than one approach from more than one street. Find your way to the intersection of Johnson Rd and Rockdale St NW. It’s an industrial neighborhood, so keep your head up, and don’t leave anything visible in your car that you’d like to keep. Make your way on foot Southeast along Rockdale St, past the two abandoned houses on your right. Enjoy the sense of adventure brought on by abandoned houses, a complete lack of traffic and the sense of following in Rick or Glen’s footsteps.

Follow this road leading West from the second abandoned house

Just past the second abandoned house is an overgrown road leading West (right). The road has been blockaded to prevent dumping of trash, but I didn’t see any “No Trespassing” signs anywhere.

Make your way between the debris into the field beyond. Once you are in the field, stay close to the left (South) edge of the field.

Cut through these woods

You should be able to easily find a path to follow West along the field. Once you get about midway across the field, start looking down and to your left (South) for a way to cut through these woods. Any Walking Dead fan worth one of Daryl’s crossbow bolts will be able to pick out a path leading South through the trees.

If, however, you have lots of time on your hands and are a total Woodbury pussy, make your way all the way across the field to the dirt road and make a left. The rest of the group will be waiting for you when you grow a pair.

The field leading to the North end of the quarry

The trees get a little thick, but nothing insanely dense. Once you come out on the far side you’ll see a wide open field with a barb-wire fence  making a perimeter around Bellwood Quarry. Resist the urge to head straight for the South side, and instead following the road towards the North end of the quarry.

Here at the North end you’ll find a gate that would offer the easiest way over the fence and into the quarry, if you were willing to break the law. My lawyers have requested that I point out that the City of Atlanta has Bellwood Quarry fenced off for good reason, and anyone foolish enough to put their life at risk by climbing over an obvious fence to stand on the edge of a cliff does so at their own risk.

The Quarry!

The quarry!

In all seriousness, if you do decide to get a closer look at the quarry, stay the fuck back from the edge.

What looks like a gentle hillside past that initial stand of conifer trees is actually a cliff, waiting to break your legs and make you feel stupid, possibly even dead.

But if you do hop the fence, you’ll be rewarded with your first views of the quarry. And your first real flirtation with danger.

On the outside of the fence, make your way South clock-wise, past the warning-laden security gate. That whole thing about closed-circuit cameras is no lie, as you’ll see soon enough. Continue South along the fence, picking up the trail leading around the perimeter. Note the large pole with 3 security cameras and a solar panel. If you want to touch the bottom of the quarry, you have to make it past this contraption. I didn’t have time.

“Some friends and I made it into the quarry yesterday, and on the path up from the water, we were greeted by 4 cop cars.” – someone who went all the way to the bottom of the quarry. Do so at your own risk

I wanted The Photo of Atlanta’s skyline as seen in so many shots from season one. So I kept going around the Southern border of the quarry until I was just about at the large power plant, and snapped this photo:

The Atlanta skyline, seen from that angle so familiar to fans of The Walking Dead. Stay out of the power plant. I shouldn’t even have to tell you to stay the fuck out of there, but my lawyers assure me that since I’m encouraging irresponsible behavior I should point out that under no circumstances should you enter the power station.

Make your way counter-clockwise until you come to a large gate. If you were going to try and get a look at the Southern end of the quarry, this gate would give you your best shot to climb over. Should you decide to break the law and put your life at risk, you’d do well to follow the path inside the fence for about 75 feet until you come to the 2 concrete traffic barriers.

This is as good a view as you are going to get. It is also as dangerous as it gets in here. Just a few feet past those concrete barriers is a sheer cliff, dropping 70 feet to the road below. From the road, it looks to be another 120 feet to the water. Get your photos, but don’t be a hero and try to get the “look how sheer this cliff is!” photo.

Bellwood Quarry at sunset

Now that you’ve tasted the view of the quarry from the lip, maybe you’re hankerin’ for a closer look. Maybe you’re even feelin’ froggy enough to try and make your way past the security cameras and down to the water. I went totally Dale at this point, and climbed back over the fence and made my way back to my rental car. If you do decide to make a run for the bottom of the quarry, do me a favor and send me a photo. I’d love to see it, and will post it here.

Reader submitted photos:

Macey B visited the quarry in 2016, and submitted these photos of her adventure:

In the 90’s and Sweating in Alabama

When I found out that the event I was doing in Birmingham was going to be held at Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa, I started making contingency plans in case my schedule would permit a round of golf. When it all fell into place and I got dropped into an 8:30am threesome on Saturday morning, my last hope was that my shoulder would hold up for a round of golf.

It had been almost three weeks to the day since I over-swam my shoulder, and I was more nervous about how I’d hold up than how I’d play. On the range, my focus was all over the place, and so were my shots. After I calmed down, and sweated some of the coffee out of my system, I was able to get some consistency going. I was amazed by how hot it was at 8am. This did not bode well for the final six holes that we’d be playing between 11:30am and 1pm.

The par-3 fourth hole

The course is a stunner. Part of the Robert Trent Jones Trail, Ross Bridge plays from the tips as the third longest course in the world: an insidious 8,139 yards. I opted to play from the whites, 6,200 yards with a rating of 68.7 and a slope of 118. Over the course of 18 holes there was never a repeat drive, never a repeat hole. The par 3 holes were all extremely memorable, the course a classic RTJ “tough par, easy bogey” risk/reward setup.

Not usually a fan of carts, I was thankful to have one in the Alabama heat. The temperature was 80 by the time we teed off, and was well over 90 by the end of the first nine. My shoulder actually seemed to like the heat, as if playing in a sauna was exactly what it needed. I didn’t feel it once during the round.

I kept track of fun points, but no one else in my group was really into the concept, which took some of the shine off of it. Overall, I hit some good shots, and only had 3 horrific flubs, all of them topped shots. I managed a birdie on a 163 yard par 3, knocking my tee shot to 6 feet and dropping the putt. But I was 7-over on the par-5’s alone: one bogey and three doubles. If there is anything I can take away from the day, it is a need to improve my game on the long holes.

Once again, I ended well. The final hole is a par-4 that plays over water on the tee shot, and then tempts you with another shot over water to reach the green. My tee shot was safe, a little too safe, as it left me 184 yards to the elevated green, 160 of which was carry over water. I buried my approach shot in the hillside, carrying the water but not quite making the putting surface. A chip and two putts and I was home in 99, marking my fourth round in a row under 100, and my sixth round in double-digits ever.

The Day’s Stats

Fairways hit: 6
Greens in Regulation: 1
Ups & Downs: 2
Pars: 0
Birdies: 1
Putts: 33
Fun Points: 28
Handicap before round: 31.4
Handicap after round: 30.8