Medlock Park, Decatur: What It's Like to Live Here

This unincorporated area north of Decatur is still close enough for easy access to the city.
By: Gina Hannah

Medlock Park is a neighborhood in an unincorporated area of DeKalb County, north of the city of Decatur. Residents who live here enjoy easy access to Decatur's downtown, Emory University and the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve. Many residents here work at Emory or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is also an easy commute (some commuters even ride their bikes the 12-mile round-trip commute). This neighborhood, along with surrounding neighborhoods, including Clairmont Heights, Leafmore-Creek Park Hills, Ridgeland Park and are often referred to collectively as North Decatur.

The area was settled in the early to mid-1800s, by Chapman Powell, who was a physician. His "medicine house" cabin was moved and is preserved at Stone Mountain Park. Powell's land was later purchased by Walter Candler, son of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler. Another early settler, Ezekiel Mason, the namesake of DeKalb County's Mason Mill Park, built a mill near the original settlement on Clairmont Road near Burnt Fork Creek. 

Many homeowners are attracted to Medlock Park because property taxes are lower here than in the city limits. The neighborhood's streets are dotted with small, three-bedroom, midcentury brick ranchers built in the 1950s and 1960s. Yards are big, and there's plenty of room to add on to homes, which usually range in price from $185,000 to $250,000, depending on size of the home and updates to the house.

Medlock Park is just a few miles from downtown Decatur's shops and restaurants, North DeKalb Mall and a few neighborhood shopping areas. Medlock Park and other North Decatur neighborhoods are served by DeKalb County schools.

At nearly 40 acres, Medlock Park offers athletic fields, tennis courts, a recreation center, a playground, a swimming pool, picnic areas and walking trails. The park is also home to Druid Hills Youth Sports baseball league, which provides an athletic outlet to scores of kids living in the area. League activity happens year-round, including a baseball camp held the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The camp is held in cooperation with Emory Sports camps, and includes professional instruction on the university campus.

On hot summer days, neighborhood residents can swim at the Medlock Park Pool, which is open to DeKalb County residents for a small fee. The pool has a summer swim league for youth, and is available for private rental during nonpublic swim hours.

The Medlock Park neighborhood is also near Ira B. Melton Park, near Clairmont Heights, which is known for its 3-mile, single-track biking trail.

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