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The Silver Comet Trail follows the bed of the old Seaboard Air Line. From 1947 to 1969, the shiny Silver Comet passenger train provided luxury service between New York and Birmingham. Today, three trestles and a railroad tunnel integrated into the trail design hint at past glories.
The well-maintained 61.5-mile trail is 12-foot wide and paved. Along the way are 17 wheelchair-accessible access points, 15 restrooms, 10 water fountains, and a variety of trailside services.
Today's Silver Comet runs from Smyrna all the way to Esom Hill. The eastern section runs through residential areas, including housing developments with private trail access. The western section is more bucolic, a mixed landscape of pine stands and farmland. At dusk, the countryside comes alive with animal sounds.
Trail highlights include several relics of its railroading past. At Mile Marker 23, the Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle stands 100 feet high and 700 feet long. Standing atop the trestle, you can almost picture the Comet streaking past in a silver blur. At Mile Marker 30.8, the Brushy Mountain Tunnel sounds a spooky note with 700 feet of damp, dark corridor.
You'll find the Silver Comet Depot, a trailside bike rental shop, on Floyd Road in Mableton, while Mile Marker 37.6 heralds your arrival in idyllic, small-town Rockmart. Two miles west of town, baseball and recreation fields provide more entertainment. Cedartown features a restored train depot, as well as places to load up on refreshments for the round-trip to Smyrna.
The Silver Comet offers a wide array of activities: Its rich history appeals to railroad enthusiasts, and its first-rate facilities draw recreation seekers from miles around. Whether you want to run 5 miles or bike 60, this rail-trail is an excellent option. Enjoy it for an hour or make an entire day of it.
At the Georgia/Alabama state line, the Silver Comet Trail connects to Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail, which stretches for another 33 miles, making the trails (combined) among some of the longest paved pedestrian paths in the country.
Reach the Smyrna side of the Silver Comet Trail off of I-285, Exit 15/Route 280/South Cobb Drive. Head north on South Cobb, turn left on Cumberland Parkway SE, then right on Gaylor Street. The trailhead is near the shopping complex.
Reach the Esom Hill trailhead from US Highway 278 west. Near Mile Marker 1, turn south on Hardin Road. The trailhead is 0.5 mile up the road on the right.
There are numerous access points with parking and various other facilities along the trail's entire route.
Was planning on this being an overnight bike trip, as the kids have never done more than a 10 mile ride. We packed overnight gear, etc. Unfortunately, the forecast for the 2nd day turned sour and the kids decided to push through and finish the ride in one day! they did great - largely on the original rail/paved trail. Towards Rockmart and Cedar Town, it diverted through some downtown areas and some of the uphills were rough..but by and a large a great trail! Both kids left with a great deal more confidence than when they started!
Scenic and long. Great trail to rack up milieage. Pavement is excellent and we'll maintained. Plenty of rest stops for the weary. Go get it.
Roughly a 26-mile round trip, this is a beautiful stretch of the Silver Comet trail. It is pretty flat most of the way, all though I joked with my wife that it seemed like it was uphill both ways. It practically always seemed like we were going slightly uphill, but I guess that was an illusion, since clearly we couldn't have been going uphill both ways! There is a lot of shade and the ride is interesting as you ride through forests, over a high bridge, and through a couple of tunnels. One thing to know: the beach at Coot's Lake is no longer open to the public. We got caught in an unexpected heavy thunderstorm and sought shelter there until the storm passed, but were rebuffed by the owner. We were two veterans on July 4th simply seeking shelter from the rain for a few minutes. Sad. Anyway, stay away from there - they don't want you there. Otherwise, the trip was great.
We parked at Esom Hill, close to the GA/AL border. We rode the Comet east to Cedartown mi53 (see my reviews of other sections of Comet), then turned around and rode west to Borden Springs. 27mi roundtrip. Trail is concrete in GA, then turns to asphalt in AL, but both well maintained. It runs through the woods almost the whole way. Shaded, but no scenery but trees. No facilities either. It is a rail-trail, and you think its flat, but its not. Esom Hill is the crest, and its down hill both ways from there - about 100ft elevation change on both sides. But its gradual, so its very doable. But you will notice the difference one direction over the other. Will return to do final west section.
First time on the Comet at the recommendation of a friend. He wasn't kidding - this is a great trail. Well maintained with beautiful scenery. Road the leg from the Georgia State line to Cedartown. Wow just wow. Will do again soon.
For a long, late fall weekend, my wife and I based camped at the Chief Ladiga Trail Campground. The campground is located in the Talladega N.F. approx. 7 miles from the GA state line. It is on the trial with plenty of acreage, a running creek, clean showers and a great staff (Terry & his dog Honey)! Hopping onto the trail riding east, we went through some of the most scenic RtTs we have ever rode. You will ride slightly uphill through beautiful forest and creeks until you hit the state line, the photo stop. You will continue with the same scenery, but on concrete, until you “dog leg” at the outskirts/industrial area of Cedartown. After the loop and city street maze, you can visit Cedartown via the unique S. College St. bridge or S. Main St. at the depot. The depot is a great spot to break and has a small museum and bathrooms. There are a couple of unique places to lunch but since it was Sunday most of the place were close so we ate some awesome Sunday-after-church fried chicken at Bojangles. While in town, ride round to courthouse to see the local sports statues. These parts of the CL & SC trails were great but bring plenty of fluids and be careful at all the crossings. After returning the same way, we had a great night sleep and I hit the CL trial westbound.
My wife and I did the full Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trail. Beautiful trail. We embarked on our 3 day adventure on our road bikes and a backpacks. 14.4 hrs and 196.8 miles. Our itinerary was Atlanta-Piedmont-Rockmart-Atlanta.
Recommend this trail. Keep Riding!!!!
Trail is great! I have traveled most of it and now am searching for any who know or are personally interested in sharing the word of potential B and B to come that sits at the end of the Chief Ladiga trail (Alabama's name of the Silver Comet trail ) as it enters the state of Alabama.
How neat would it be to have a B and B on the Alabama end much like the one at the Atlanta end? Many do not know, but Birmingham is about to build 470 miles of trail inside Bham... and before long the trail will continue to follow the former train track on to Anniston then on to Smyrna Ga. If your have any ideas on how to develop this idea further...please let me know.
Returned to ride portions of the Silver Comet trail and the Chief Ladiga trail and what fun.
Trails remain in good condition.
Stayed in a very bicycle friendly establishment in Cedartown, GA, the Quality Inn. Great location to ride both trails.
I've ridden portions of the Silver Comet trail now 5 times and enjoy it with each and every ride. The Silver Comet trail connecting with the Chief Ladiga trail makes for an especially enjoyable riding experience.
I'm looking forward to returning to the area to ride both trails.
Best part of silver comet trail! Easy to moderate round-trip starting near Drummond Park trail head (mm 20.16) and ride west to Coots Lake (mm 33.48). Slight uphill grade westward (downhill heading back). Crosses 700' bridge, through national wildlife area and through long tunnel.
Gradual rolling hills (3rd gear up, 6th gear down) from mi11 to mi18. Then downhill to mi23, uphill to the tunnel at mi31, downhill to Rockport mi37. Then the trail veers off the old railbed through Rockville with ups and downs to mi40 where it becomes the sidewalk of US287. Since the old railbed is in use from Rockmart to Cedartown (mi53), the trail runs alongside the railroad for much of this stretch. Lots of parking areas along the route. I parked at the Paulding Co Chamber and rode 8mi out and back both ways, for 30mi round trip on Day1; and parked at Coots Lake Beach and did the same thing for another 30mi on Day2. I saw several police patrols in Smart cars on the trail, and there are cameras at various spots too. Was comfortable leaving the car at these two spots, and did not see any trouble anywhere. The trail was shady nearly the whole way. The tunnel at mi31 was fun, as was the trestle at mi23, and the village of Rockmart. An enjoyable 2 days.
Rode three sections of trail (out and back) covering 30-40 miles of the eastern portion. For me it is just too crowded on weekends to enjoy. Many families with small children who wonder all over, fast 'road" bikers flying past, and a few rude riders and pedestrians.
If you MUST ride on a weekend start west of Powder Springs and head west.
Drove to Alabama and rode the Chief Ladiga trail that connects to the Silver Comet at the state line. Rode the farthest western portion for 20 miles. Lovely trail.
This is a long long trail so you can go as far as you want. The grade is very level, and the trail is in good shape.
The trailhead (east) is right in the heart of Cobb County, so while not downtown Atlanta, it is very suburban and crowded. However after about 12 miles, the trail is very rural. Calm and peaceful.
I think the biggest negative is also a good thing -- the trail is crowded. There are a ton of walkers on the trail, especially the first 5 miles and you have to be very careful riding. There are also a lot of families on bikes, so go slow, kids dart out in front of you, and even adults aren't paying attention.
The mile markers after 20 miles are off so don't think you are going crazy.
Overall a nice trail and we feel blessed to have it.
A great trail with a diverse offering of flat, hilly (sometimes steep around mi 46), rural, suburban, quaint towns, tunnels, and an extra 30+ miles connection in Alabama. What struck me most was the extreme and precise signage all along the trail with far more than mile markers. Reminders to check water supply & cell phone for more remote sections, warnings on hills and slopes as well as elevation marking and km distances for those metrically inclined. Very easy to get comfortable navigating and with an entirely paved surface, easy to get a comfortable ride as well.
I read the trail would be busy at the Smyrna end, but somehow I missed any mention that google maps would have a hard time getting me to the Concord trail head!
We took a nice drive along the East-West Connector - by the park.... and quickly learned that the roads on the map do not connect to the East West Connector! So we had to ignore my phone telling me to U turn and we took the scenic route and ended up on Concord road going over the one lane and Covered bridges - very cool but a bit scary as I wasn't sure if the bikes in our truck would be too tall. They made it!
But there was parking at the Concord trail head even on a busy Saturday late morning and we eagerly got on the trail. We were walking our dog and quickly learned how super busy this section of the trail is. Lots of bikes, walkers, runners. Not much room to get the dog off the trail to keep him out of the way.
Its very shady and the temp was comfortable even in late morning in August
We walked down to the side trail in Heritage park where bikes are not allowed and while there were lots of people there, it was more peaceful. A series of switchbacks where the trail has been paved leads down to the creek and there the path turns to dirt. Wear bug spray!! I got eaten alive by bugs!
The old mill building is right at the end of the switchbacks and they have put some metal structures in to help the walls stay up. We hiked along the creek for awhile. Several areas have access to the water so I could let my dog wade on leash. You can't believe your so close to the city in this peaceful area. You do hear the East West Connector at some points along the trail.
It is a busy and beautiful place!
My son and I have done this trail(with the wife in support)entirely twice and about to do it again. LOVE THIS TRAIL!!!
I had intentions of riding the whole way to Alabama and back but my arrival in Atlanta did not allow for enough daylight to travel the full 120 miles. I was able to ride 1.5 miles to the Smyrna trailhead. The far east portion of the trail is heavily travelled by cyclists, walkers and runners. I politely called out "on your left" every time I passed to no acknowledgement from most. I'd say about 10% of the people I waved to on the trail actually waved back.
I thought the trail conditions and amenities were excellent. The bridge crossings are very cool and the elevation change is so slight that you don't realize you are pedalling uphill unless you notice the change in your pace. Out towards the middle section of the trail, there are very few people and there is signage indicating when you will pass into a 14 mile section that has no food/water resources.
I plan on coming back from South Florida with some friends to make the full 100 mile trip into Alabama in the fall. I'm sure that will be an awesome ride.
Only got to do a small part of this trail but was impressed by the design and condition. Trail very flat, divided down the center, and well marked along the way. Nice seating areas with trash cans.
My wife and I have rode the trail several times. We recently rode from Cedartown to the Georgia/Alabama line and back making a pretty good ride out of it. The only complaint I have is the restrooms that are on the maps, in reality are not. May be an issue for some folks! Great trails though!
My cousin and I met this Memorial weekend to do a three-day ride as a pre-test for a longer ride this Fall and we couldn't have been more thrilled! The scenery is reminiscent of a country lane with overhanging trees, dappled sunlight, covered bridges, tunnels and wooden bridges..all on a dedicated bike path. The section between Mavell Road trailhead and Rockmart Riverwalk was a stunning ride with a few controlled intersections with fast light changes! This section is made up of gentle rollers while the section between Rockmart Riverwalk and Cedartown Depot is not for the faint of heart! Take those signs seriously! Control your speed on the down slopes...there are intersections and sharp turns at the bottom. And the Grady Road Hill...well...we walked down to save the brakes and possibly more and my cousins shoes were sliding on the steep slope. The folks at the Silver Comet Depot bike shop at Floyd Road took care of our tire blow-out and had us back in the saddle in 30 minutes! Also, we shopped the day before at Atlanta Cycles and they hooked us up with some new gear. What a great experience and what a gift Atlanta's suburbs have in this trail! I can't wait to do it again!
We rode on a Saturday morning (near Atlanta / Smyrna), then on a Sunday (near the border)... - the Atlanta end was Definitely Crowded!!! - we would recommend a week-day...
But the trail markings, the over-grown(ness (providing shade), the bathrooms, and the surface were first-rate...
then we rode parts of the Chief Ladiga in Alabama, and back into Georgia for a ways a couple of days later and the 'masses' of people were not there near the border...
EXCELLENT infrastructure, parking, etc. all around
would definitely do it again!
I've been wanting to ride the entire length of the silver comet/chief ladiga trail round-trip. On April 20, 2013 I rode from just west of Powder Springs, GA to the the end of the Chief Ladiga Trail in East Anniston, AL. You can get to West Anniston but you have to go out on the two lane highway to do so. This added about 10 miles more to the trip. The roundtrip was approx. 130 miles. It was a beautiful ride. aS you leave Rockmark, GA the cows and turkeys quickly begin to outnumber people. There are several sections of 8-10 miles where there were no people but the weather, the wildlife and the condition of the trail were incredible! I found the 2 or 3 small towns that you pass through in Alabama to be extreamly hospitable and in one case I had to excuse myself from a welcome center because the locals just talked your ear off! This trail ride was terrific. All 60+ miles are well maintained with some short 15-20grade climbs but more of a consistent gentle 1-2 percent grade climb. a great way to spend 8 hours! The Alabama side treats you will a trail that winds through trout streams and small towns.
A great ride!
My wife and I road the silver comet trail on Saturday November 3 from Cedartown, GA to Rockmart, GA and because of the hills it took us about 3 ½ hrs. (We are not as young as we use to be). We had lunch at Frankie’s in Rockmart, great sub and spaghetti and of course signed the wall. We road back to Cedartown, GA and stayed at the Holliday Inn Express “great place and clean” we had dinner at Portobello’s in Cedartown just ¼ mile from the hotel on main st. “great food and service”. Our plans are to start in Anniston, AL and ride east on the Chief Ladiga trail to Piedmont, AL and then on to Cedartown, GA as this part of the trail is flat I repeat FLAT.
The Silver Comet is a five star linear park that begins in Cobb County, Georgia and will carry the ambitious all the way to Alabama! Family friendly, the first four miles can be congested with skaters, walkers, training wheels, and others just enjoying the beautiful trail with a full tree canopy. The serious bikers enjoy themselves at speed a little further out past the the Silver Comet Depot and beyond. This is a trail not to be missed if you are in the Atlanta area.
In mid-May the wife and I traveled down from western Maryland to ride the trail from Anniston to Atlanta, We did the ride over 4 days, staying at hotels & B&B’s, carrying everything needed in a pair of panniers and 2 top-of-rack bags. On/off trail mileage totaled 120 miles, averaging 30 miles/day. Weather during the week was sunny w/temps reaching the low-mid 80’s. We started in Anniston, staying overnight at the Victoria Inn. It’s a good place to stay and has a great breakfast in the morning. We made arrangements with the Inn to leave our car in their lot for the duration. We rode the 6+ miles to the trail head by riding north on Noble St. through the city and on to several lesser traveled back roads. Stay off McClellan Highway as there’s no shoulder on a good part of it and the traffic is too heavy. Our first days ride - between Anniston and Piedmont – was beautiful scenery all the way. The trail is paved asphalt. In many of the shaded areas the tree roots are trying to push up under the asphalt, making the ride rough. Stopped in Jacksonville for lunch at Strut’s. It’s close to the trail and OK for lunch. Once in Piedmont, we stopped at the Solid Rock Café for ice cream. We stayed overnight at the (less than 2-yrs old) Key West Inn on the north edge of town on Haslam St./Rt 278 Ate dinner and breakfast the next morning at the Huddle House, located less than a ¼ mile walk east on the highway. Our 2nd days destination was Cedartown. We started the day by getting to-go lunches at the Solid Rock Café, and ate them up on the AL/GA state line. This section of trail is pretty rural, with no essential services except at Essom Hill, GA. Here you will find the Lucky 777 Store, that is not much more than a tiny, smoke-filled slots parlor. However, they do sell soda, snacks and a tiny bathroom! At the GA line, the trail is named the Silver Comet, and is constructed of concrete all the way to Atlanta. In Cedartown, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express that’s 1.5 mile north on Main St/John Hand Rd. A lot of cyclists stay here. There are sidewalks to ride on up to the hotel if the busy street traffic makes you too nervous. Dinner that evening was at Zorba’s – an easy ¼ mile walk back down Main St. Our 3rd days destination was Dallas. Heading east out of Cedartown the trail departs from the rail right-of-way for at least 5+ miles. There are some challenging ups & downs and twists/turns here until you’ve passed the landfill that’s about halfway to Rockmart. Coming into Rockmart the park setting is beautiful. We did lunch at Frankie’s, and of course wrote our names on the wall inside. At the end of our days ride we came into Dallas, riding to the north side of town to the Ragsdale Inn. A really nice B&B that was very comfortable and great breakfast. We walked into downtown for pizza that evening. Our 4th and final days destination was Smyrna/Atlanta, GA. On this last section of the trail there were a lot of local residents. We did lunch in Powder Springs Road – a Subway shop and then ice cream at Dairy Queen. To end the ride, we continued onto the Silver Comet Connector and then the Cumberland Connector to reach the Hampton Inn that’s just south of the Cumberland Mall. A bit hilly, but even with all our gear we did OK. Dinner across the road in the mall – at the Cheesecake Factory – was a just reward! The next morning (while our bikes & gear were temporarily stored at the hotel) we took a taxi into Atlanta and boarded the Amtrak back to Anniston. It’s a 12-block walk from the Anniston station to the Victoria Inn, where we’d left our car. From there we headed back to Atlanta to pick up our bikes and then head home to Maryland. All-in-all – a great ride!
My wife and I read the reviews on this trail a couple of weeks before Memorial Day weekend and decided to give it a try. We rode from Symrna, GA to Hiram GA, which is about 15 miles each way, and absolutely loved it. The trail condition was great, and most everyone on the trail was very courteous. We enjoyed the scenery as well as much of the trail being shaded. The inclines and declines were gradual and easy to traverse. The only issue we had at the Symrna access point was the lack of parking. All spaces at the trail head were full, and almost all spaces at the elementary school down the street were also full. This was probably because it was Memorial Day weekend, but it is something to think about when you are planning to access the trail from Symrna. Some of the access points further up the trail had very few cars in the parking lot. Overall, it was a great experience, and we are making plans to go back for a longer ride in a couple of weekends.
I found the trail description here at TrailLink and stopped to check it out during a recent business trip through the area. WHAT A GEM! Everything about the trail was first class. I wish I lived closer to something like this. I do have the Little Miami a little closer, but every time I get close to this trail I’ll be stopping for a ride. In a few weeks my family is going to Panama City, FL. I have already made a hotel reservation near the Chief Ladiga end to try it as well. If you like safe, vehicle free bicycling then you will like this trail.
I rode the Silver Comet trail April 10-11, 2012. This was my second ride on the trail. I started in Hiram, GA and stayed a bicycle friendly Sleep Inn. Except for the vandalism of some signage especially heading towards Sandy Springs, Smyrna and in the Rockmart area, the trail was well maintained. Unfortunately the lack of restrooms hasn't improved from my 1st trip on the trail in 2010. Overall an enjoyable experience and I hope to make a 3rd trip on the Silver Comet.
My husband and I drove to sunny GA from Louisville Ky for 3 days of riding the Silver Comet and were not disappointed. We rode the first day from Smyrna to mile 25 and turned around. Beautiful, flat, friendly. Spent the next 2 nights at our base camp in Cedar Town at the Holiday Inn Express. Great little town, super friendly locals, discount at Holiday Inn Express because we told them we were riding the trail, and delicious post ride fare: BBQ at Wallaces, Lasagna and broiled fish at Zorbas, and a great lunch on our last day at Perckles on Main Street--yummy little local deli. When you leave Cedar Town train depot and head toward Rockmart, be warned: about 3 miles of some killer hills. Definitely worse when we came back--tired legs and sore butt were feeling it. But, hills in a way were a welcome relief after riding so many flats. From Cedar Town to Alabama border is flat, flat, flat. Almost boring. BUT beautiful. Hitting Chief Ladiga Trail and the AL border was beautiful. the smell of Pines was awesome.We really lucked out weather wise: high 60's to 80's over the 3 days. Places to camp along trail and anywhere from Smyrna to Cedar Town there are little towns that you can pull off into and grab a soda or bathroom break. If you stay at Holiday Inn Express for couple days, ask for a room with Kitchenette. We did not and therefore did not even have a fridge (which would have been great to store cold drinks, ice packs for sore muscles, etc). Enjoy the trail. Well worth the drive to GA!!!
I usually have started at the Mavell Road access, but found that the new easternmost terminus pokes into Cobb County a smidge closer to home. Big mistake for inline skating as the entire distance (< 1 mile) to Mavell Road is downhill and not at all gradual. If I were not an expert skater, it would have been quite dangerous. As it was, I turned around at Mavell Road and it was all I could do to get these 48-year-old legs to grind it back to the start.
Start at Mavell Road and you will find miles and miles of pristine concrete trail. Quite wide and level.
We rode the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trail as a loop from Hiram, GA towards AL and then looping back to the Smyrna end. We rode our Santana Tandem Triplet and towed a Bob Trailer staying in hotels in Hiram and Cedartown, GA twice and in Anniston, AL. The crew consisted of myself, my wife, and our ten year old son, Adam. Both trails are in excellent shape and being paved, represented a nice smooth ride. The on-line resources allowed for easy planning. The only caveat for "regular" rail to trail riders in the section between Rockmart and Cedartown. The grades in that section demonstrate that this was certainly a departure from the original railway as at least one is both steep and sufficiently long to tax most riders. While we were forewarned by other reviews, make sure that you understand that most kids, older riders, and any casual rail-to-trail riders WILL be walking their bike up at least one hill. Having said tha, there's no harm in walking and the downhills are fun as long as you make sure you're in control. Don't miss the opportunity to eat at Frankie's in Rockmart, get your picture taken, and write on the way. We were new to Kudzu so we loved how it took over everything in its path. Leaving from Hiram, we made stops in Cedartown, Anniston, Cedartown, Hiram and then looped to the end of the trail in Symrna returning to Hiram the same day. We averaged between 40 and 50 miles a day except for the Syrmna day which was just over 30. I think that broke up the ride nicely and allowed for plenty of "stop and enjoy the scenery" time and the use of the hotel pool where available. We rode the trail the first week of August in 100 degree heat so we enjoyed several dips in the flowing water near the trails. Make sure you're well stocked when entering the "remote" areas because they are indeed remote so make sure you have water and flat repair equipment. This was a great trip and I'd highly recommend it for a family ride in pieces or in whole.
On July 3, 2010, I enjoyed a delightful end-to-end ride of the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails. This 90+ mile ride started in Nickajack in Georgia and ended in Woodland Park just north of Anniston, AL. Both trails were great rides, but the Silver Comet has a slight edge over Chief Ladiga in my ride book. Full ride review at: http://americaonespokeatatime.blogspot.com/2010/07/silver-comet-and-chief-ladiga-rails-to.html
My 12 year old daughter and I recently rode the Chief Ladiga Triail and the Silver Comet Trial over a three day period and loved it. Day one, we rode from Anniston, AL to Cedartown, GA, our longest day but very scenic, especially north of Piedmont, AL. Had a lovely lunch at Solid Rock Cafe in Piedmont and stayed the night at Holiday Inn Express in Cedartown (sidewalk all the way to hotel, but a little up hill). Day two was the most challenging, especially the section of the Silver Comet from Cedartown to Rockmart, GA. Very hilly, but we took our time and even walked our bikes up some of the hills. Great meal and hospitality at Frankie's in Rockmart. Enjoyed the riverside park along the trail in Rockmart as an after lunch resting place. Spent the night at the Sleep Inn in Hiram, GA (sidewalk most of the way then took the Home Depot/Target shopping center parking lot route to hotel). Day three, from Hiram to Smyrna was short but pleasant. Encountered more trail users as we got closer to Smyrna. We felt very safe along the entire trail. Plenty of rest stops, much shade, and such nice people along the way. Hope to return in the fall.
Biking Mom (43 years old)
My wife and I stayed in Cedartown, GA which is roughly halfway along the combination of the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails. We lodged at the Holiday Inn and though it is the best place in town, I only rate it as average. The hot tub was broken and a few of the amenities were out of date. We rode from the hotel to Jacksonville, AL and back for a total of 74 miles. Piedmont, AL was our lunch stop and we had an excellent time at Solid Rock Cafe. Greek Wrap, fruit cup, ice cream and coffee were all excellent. They have a wide variety of organic food, kid's meals, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, smoothies, and desserts. Highly recommend this locally owned cafe and it is only about a block off the trail!
My wife and I rode the trail yesterday. We started in Anniston at the end of the Chief Ladiga trail and rode to Cedartown for lunch before returning to our car. Once we crossed the state line, the trail coming out of Alabama turned to concrete and was very, very smooth. The smoothness and flatness of the trail did not go away as we continued toward Cedartown, but the cleanliness of the trail certainly did. The first couple of miles into Georgia, the trail was clear and offered more exposure to the sun than the trail did in Alabama. But after the first couple of miles, there was an excessive amount of pine straw and lots of grimy soot that would tail up and cover our legs as we rode. Once we neared Cedartown, the trail presented some rolling hills and then spit us out in a neighborhood that would be a little concerning had it not been the middle of the day. The folks we encountered were nice enough, but it seemed to be a seedy area. I am basing some of that on the large volume of graffiti along the trail and the project housing that we had to ride within a block of. Once we reached downtown Cedartown, we stopped in at the beautifully restored depot/welcome center to ask for a local restaurant recommendation. The attendant recommended Joe's Country Cafe about a block away. Joe's is a meat-and-two type restaurant with great country fried steak and mac & cheese. The service was very slow, but we enjoyed the break in our ride. Once done, we went back to the depot to pick up extra water for the return trip. Overall, it was a good ride. It was sad to see something so positive for the area and for the sport of cycling to be "tagged" by spray paint cans and then not to be cleaned up by the county crew. I am planning to come back sometime next month and ride further out toward Smyrna.
I rode the Silver Comet Trail from Rockmart, GA to the AL state line and found it very difficult. I am not a strong, aggressive rider and I had to walk my bike up some of the hills. The downhills were treacherous - very steep and lots of switchbacks. This section of the trail was not well-maintained, but that may have been due to recent storms. I rode the section from Smyrna to Rockmart a while back and it was very well-maintained and challenging but not threatening. We did stay at an EconoLodge right on the main drag and the proprietors were helpful and very bicycle friendly - gave us a discount and a suite for the price of a room.
My wife and I rode the entire trail 3/21-24. Sunday morning we drove down from Charlotte and parked in the S/C near South Cobb & Gaylord St. The bike shop there was helpful in pointing out the start of the trail. It is open 7 days a week in case you need any last minute repairs or adjustments. The first day we rode to the Tara Drummond trailhead in Dallas at MP 20.2 and then up to our overnight accomadations at the Ragsdale Inn. I highly recommend this hidden gem as Jackie and Faye were wonderful hosts. We are experienced Rail Trail riders and our regular routine is Lucy rides one way and then I double back to as she says get a better workout, Ha! Ha! Temp was in the mid 50's and drizzling so I rode hard going back for the car. Nice bathrooms and water fountains at MP 11.6 and 20.2. Monday7 we rode from Dallas to Rockmart( MP 37.6). The temperature was 41 degrees as it was misting and spitting snow. Most everything cl;osed in Rockmart but we found Hometown Pizza open and we lunched on some meatball hoagies. Heading back for me was ugly as it had started to rain hard and it was into the wind. Oh well, just one of those days. Tuesday we went from Rockmart to Cedartown (MP 51.4). It was hard to call thios a rail trail as it was unlike any other we'd ridden. The majority of the ride was alongside a major highway (Hwy 278) and there were a couple of climbs I estimated at 10-12% grade. One at MP 46.0 was .75 mi long UGH! If you hate hills then cycle the Cedartown to Rockmart direction. The Holiday Inn Express was our home for the next two nights. GM Kay Wallace was so nice. Special rate for trail riders too. Be sure to take in the Cedartown Depot as they've done a beautiful job of restoring it. Not much open in the downtown except Pirkle's Deli. Cycling back for the car was a breeze. Wind at my back and downhill. Yipee!!! Wednesday was Cedartown to Piedmont, AL completing the Silver Comet and going on to the Chief Ladiga trail. Slaughter's Grocery at Esom Hill (MP 61.2) was a good stop for refueling. The Eubanks Welcome Center at MP 13.6 is a God send. Large indoor bathroom and front porch with rocking chairs. Perfect place for lunch. It was our best day weather wise with temperatures nearing 70 degrees and sunny.
In summary, the trail is cement all the way and in good condition. Very few riders were out as the weather was not the best, it was March not vbacation time and we were cycling during the week. It was not in our top 5 trail though (Greenbrier, North Fork, Great Allegheny, Little Grand Canyon, Ghost Town).
My wife and I just completed a portion of the trail, starting in Cedartown Ga and riding west one day to Piedmont Al and then east the next to Rockmart Ga. We found the trail to be one of the best we have been on, and it is amazing how smooth the concrete surface is. We saw lots of wild turkeys, 3 deer and a beaver plus lots of cardinals. In a suprising break to the normal railroad grade, we came across a 5 mile (approx) really hilly section just east of Cedartown Ga. The section between Cedartown Ga to Rockmart Ga has just recently 2008 been completed. Thumbs up to Polk County. We stayed at the Country Hearth Inn in Cedartown Ga, they have great prices and clean rooms. Put this on your list of must rides. . March 18,2010, Jim & Mary, Ontario Canada.
I ride the Comet at least one day each weekend, usually anywhere from 50 to 62 miles in the winter to 80+ in the warmer weather. This is the first winter that I've ridden past the 25 mile marker and the landscape is beautiful without the trees and brush to hide it. The ride between the Rambo trailhead and the Brushy Mountain Tunnel is pure country. A few miles after crossing the Pumpkin Vine Creek trestle, I don't think there is more than one house visible, nothing but forest, with numerous hills, creeks and brooks. Very serene. A great ride.
I ride Rails To Trails in 5 states in the past 2 years I have road the SCT 4 or 5 times. The trail had rocks the size of my hand pine needle cover the trail for 2 to 3 miles from the state line going to Cedartown Ga. Rocks on the Trail around the 47 to 46 Mile marker, The Cheif Ladiga Trail was clean as it could be. This is one of the best Trails in Ga . In 2010 I road West Orange Trail & The Legacy Trail the Nature Coast Trail and these is only March I plan to ride The Great Allegheny Trail & C&O Canal this summer.
My wife and I live approximately six miles from the SCT and ride there 8-10 times a month. Since one of our hobbies is to ride bike trails in as many different states as vacation time allows I thought I would share my perspective of the SCT in relation to the others.
Most trails have something unique that make them attractive. Wildlife, greenery, rural scenes and so forth are what attract me. In my opinion the SCT trail has all of these things to a degree that when combined elevate it to the position of being the best trail I have ridden (Root River Trail in MN is second). Also, it is a very clean trail and offers a degree of security (in Paulding CO) with regular patrols by Trail Marshalls.
An additional comment is that the SCT trail can now be ridden all the way from Smyrna GA to the AL state line without leaving the trail. Yes, the section between Rockmart and Cedartown.(and a hilly section it is) has been completed.
My wife and I just rode the Silver Comet and Cheif Ladiga trail at Cedertown GA. It is beautiful. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Cetertown. Kay Wallace the manager was wonderful and very helpfull. She gives the riders of the trail a special rate. If starting the trail at the Ga line you want to get on hwy 278 west and go to the 1 mile marker towards Alabama. At the 1/2 mile marker there is a rode that turns to the left. A quarter of a mile from 278 on the right is a gravel parking space right side the trail. You can go east on the Silver Comet or to the west for the Chief Ladiga Trail. We went to Piedmont Alabama. At Center street take a right and about a mile are eating spots. It rained the next day so we were not able to ride the Silver Comet but We will be back to complete the ride of both trails. Well worth the time.
The Silver Comet detour will officially open on September 27, 2008. I rode the trail on the new section in the first week of September. It is amazing. It wasn't center lined or finished in the grading on the edges. There were no workers present and a sign that advised riding at our own risk. We rode from Cedartown to mile 39 near the Nathan Dean Park and back the first day. It has quite a bit of grade. There are a few spots where I wondered how they got the concrete on the steep slopes. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Cedartown and were very happy with the lodging. Clean, quiet, and very friendly. The next day we rode to Alabama from Cedartown. The Cheif Ladiga Trail is great also. The folks a the Eubanks Visitor Center in Piedmont are really nice. Clean restrooms and great people. Make sure you stop and sign the guest register. The also have sag support and some repair stuff. The gazebo outside is a great place to have a break and eat lunch. We rode down to mile 20.5 and returned to Cedartown. I can't wait to ride it end to end. The combined total will be 95 miles.Add in the connector fron S. Cobb Rd and East West Connector and get another mile. I have ridden the whole thing from end to end but, it took me four days. I have ridden quite a few rail trails and this has some of the most varied and beautiful scenery. The first four miles near Mavel Road are the most used and can get quite crowded on a weekend.
This past July my daughter and I began our ride at the Mableton trailhead with the intent of riding into Alabama. After waiting out an afternoon thunderstorm, riding the extra miles on the Cedartown detour, and cramping up late in the day, we arrived in Cedartown to spend the night.
We told the nice lady at the Cedartown Depot we were staying at the Holiday Inn Express and she said, "Oh, it's about another two miles. Just go up through the center of town and up the hill and you are there." Not having a choice, we began riding again. I had previously made reservations at the HIE for $105 per night. Upon arriving and checking in, the manager, Kay Wallace, saw that we were dressed in cycling clothes and asked if we were riding the Silver Comet. I said we were, and she said "Your room rate wll be $75 because we like cyclists and appreciate their business. I will give you a first floor room and please feel free to take your bikes into your room. "Along with being surprised I was deeply appreciative for the discount.
We enjoyed the pool, the late afternoon cookies, the free breakfast, and started riding toward Alabama the next morning. Unfortunately, we both crashed on a wooden bridge as we left Cedartown. The bridge was wet from the rain and it was covered with a mossy fungus because it was always in the shade. The surface of the wood was literally as slippery as ice and our tires could not grip the surface. We tried to warn another group of riders behind us, but they also fell. So, as you leave Cedartown going west toward Alabama, be careful! We recovered and kept riding but only rode to the stateline instead of Anniston. On the way back, we stopped in at the Cedartown Depot and reported what happened. The lady immediately called the Parks Department and had a crew clean the bridge.
On the third day we rode back to Mableton. Overall, we rode about 145 miles over three days and two nights and it was very enjoyable. End result? I look forward to the next time.
My wife and I rode this beautiful trail in late June this year (2008). It is a wonderful ride. We got on at the Hiram trailhead and rode to Rockmart which is 25 miles distance and back for a total 50 mile ride. It is concrete paving, wide and very well maintained. This section is well shaded along both sides by large hardwood and pine trees, very nice especially in the heat. I would recommend this trail to anyone, be sure to bring lots of water though in the summer, either we could not locate the water fountains or there were not as many as the map indicates, probably the former I would guess. We stopped in Rockmart and took refreshment at a little Ice Cream/coffee shop in town. The tunnels and bridges were awesome too.
I bought a beautiful red Organic Engines Troika tadpole recumbent tandem from a gentleman that lives in Smyrna, right at the end of the Silver Comet east end trail extension. It literally ends 1/2 block from his house! My son graciously agreed to ride stoker on the Red Beast when I went to pick it up in March, 2008. I parked the car in Herb's driveway and Elliot and I headed west. The Silver Comet Rail/Trail is remarkably well maintained with regular, plumbed restrooms/H2O and accurate mileposts. At every intersection there were crossing buttons that instantly changed the traffic light to green for trail users. Of course, since it's an old railbed the maximum grade was 2% i.e. we didn't even notice the uphills towards the (fantastic) tunnels and trestle bridges. OTOH, descending from the tunnels we were easily able to cruise at 27 mph. In the Atlanta area we ogled upscale residences but, as we headed west the scenery became more rustic and "southern." Upon reaching Rockmart we easily found our motel and dined at a decent Chinese restaurant. (There's a very good Italian restauran right on the Rockmart town square but unfortunately it was closed the day we were there.) The next morning we cycled back to Smryna, packed the tandem into our car and headed home. It was ~85 miles r/t and the ride was a delight. If we had two more days we would have ridden into Alabama before returning... Maybe next time!
"Finally I went to visit my daughter in Marrietta and got to ride the trail. I rode from the Depot in Smyrna out about 13 miles and back as I got a late morning start, but it was FUN. I plan to return and do the whole trail with my good friend from Atlanta, Clark. We both rode Bike Flordia on our recumbents. Trail is excellant for a Recumbent! Laid back fun."
"a group of 8 used Hiram as a base and we road the east side of the trail, it was wonderful. That is if you dont count the attack by the killer squirel that tried to climb the leg of one of the ladies in the group. At least we all got a good laugh out of it."
The trail from Alabama state line to cedartown is now paved and is a delight to travel. Piedmont to Cedartown and back was 48 scenic miles. We saw lots of families, boy scouts, joggers, hikers, bird watchers and road bikers. This trail is shared and loved by every kind of outdoor person. The locals in both towns are very friendly and helpful, especially the staff at the piedmont welcome center. Please stop in and visit with them, they love the trail and area and are very informative. FYI on the food situation - we rode on saturday and expected to eat lunch at Moore's soda fountain in Cedartown but it is closed on Saturdays! Pirkles deli was also closed. However we found a great restaurant called 'Taste of New Orleans'. When you get to main st in cedartown (coming from bama), turn left and ride through town 1/2 mile and turn left in front of courthouse then go 1/2 block. (109 Prior St). The owners are from Lousiana (displaced from Katrina) and the food was very good. If you just need to fill up on snacks and water there are several stores and convience stores just off the trail in Cedartown, and fast food about a mile north from the trail. There is a grocery store in Piedmont just across the trail from the welcome center on the trail. A great place to eat in Piedmont is Solid Rock Cafe on center street (1/2 mile from trail).
My wife and I, from Pittsburgh in PA, rode your trail from Marvell. We really enjoyed our ride of 25 miles (12.5 each way) on the 19th. So clean and pretty.
We were returning home after a couple of rides on St. Simons and Jeckle Islands. We wanteed to sample more of the GA trail systems.
"My wife and I just did the Full Monty. Symrna - Anniston. What a wonderfull trail.
First of all, my compliments and deepest gratitude goes to the friendly repair guy at the Silver Comet Depot on the corner of Floyd Rd. I had a broken spoke and he got me in and out of their in about 15 minutes. He saw I had a problem, dropped what he was doing and took care of me...now that's what customer service is all about!
This was our first time on the trail and it was a very positive experience overall. The one gap in the trail (just a few miles between Rockmart and Cedartown) presents a bit of a problem with back roads. There are several routes you can choose but any way you go make sure you have some kind of protection from dogs. I found that a good squirt from my water bottle will usually deter most dogs.
We have a couple recomendations for lunch. Both places were 'Cyclist' friendly which we certainly appreciated. Hometown Pizza, just off the trail on W. Elm St. in Rockmart, and Moores Soda Fountain on Main St. in Cedartown. Real nice folks at both places. Moores has a Coca Cola collection that is amazing.
This is a great trail that is only going to get better. My compliments to the individuals, communities, and businesses that have made this trail possible. Also my thanks to all of the other trail reviewers. Their comments helped us prepare for our ride.
We have relatives in Athens, GA so we are excited about our next visit so we can ride the 'Comet' again."
My 11 year-old son and I have just completed the trail from start to finish.
We started in the parking lot of Publix in Cobb county which is the Silver Comet Connector. We rode to Cedartown and spent the night in a hotel. The last 6 miles are not finished yet. The Cedartown Depot (770 749-9621) can get you a map of an alternate route.
It was a great ride but watch the hills between Rockmart and Cedartown.
From Cedartown to the state line is beutiful and very level.
From the Alabama stateline to Terrapin Creek (about 12 miles) there is construction. It is slow going but should be done by Summer of 2007.
Terrapin Creek to Peidmont is a great ride. Have lunch at the Solid Rock Cafe in you can.
Piedmont to Jacksonville to the Trailhead in Weaver is level and very pretty.
This is a great trail.
"At last, the 9 miles between Piedmont, AL, and Georgia are in the process of paving with all bridges already complete. This section of trail is the most beautiful and least traveled of all. Presently, a good mountain bike or hybrid will make the stretch nicely with only a couple of muddy places to skirt. Hopefully, the paving will be complete by next Fall and the whole 101 miles will attract cyclists from all over."
"My wife and I traveled down to the Silver Comet Trail from Cincinnati for the Thanksgiving weekend. We biked along the trail starting near the Paulding Chamber of Commerce to Rockmart and back, about a 36 mile round trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, the wildlife, the trestle, and the tunnels. We had lunch at Frankie’s in Rockmart, what a great place to stop. The breadsticks and shrimp bisque were outstanding. This section is a great bike trail, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced cyclist . . ."
"If you will be taking the off-trail roads in Rockmart to resume the Cedartown side of the trail, be vigilant. The end of the trail here (Cedartown)is in a rough neighborhood. Stop in Frankies in Rockmart for excellent Italian!"
"The Silver Comet is by far the best rails-to-trails path I've ridden. Every time out I meet new people, and see something different... keep your eyes open for turkeys, deer, snakes, and most often, rabbits aplenty. I count an average of 6-8 per trip. Bring lots of water, as I have yet to find a fresh-water supply on the trail, and 'check six' - watch behind you often, as few riders will announce that they're passing, and the trail is curvy enough that speed demons appear as if from nowhere. All in all, great riding!"
"Recently my Mother, Father, and I have ridden from Cedartown to the AL line and back, and had the trail mostly to ourselves. I want to reccomend the hispanic stand next to the Cedartown Depot. The tomales, and handmade tortillas (used in the tacos) really were fantastic after the ride.
Two weeks later we started at Floyd Rd and rode to Mile 17. The wannabe professional cyclists need to slow down through this area. If a group of people are taking up the whole trail announce ""Passing on Your Left"" and they will politely move over. The heavy foot traffic is only the first six miles of the trail, and slowing down to wait will not add that much time to your journey."
The is a great ride! This was our tenth ride on the trail. It just gets better!
One improvement would be for people to pick up after their animals that dump on the concrete! But that might be asking to much of people!
"This was a nice trail. I was there last about a year ago and plan to go back soon. More water availability would be nice, but the trail was in great shape, and was clearly enjoyed by many bikers and pedestrians. One very dangerous thing to watch out for; there are a few (not many, but a few) bike riders who seem to think the Silver Comet Trail is their own personal race track. I rode about 20 miles and saw more then a few unsettling sites; people - and even children - nearly being hit by speeding bicyclists, other bicyclists almost being clipped by the speed cyclists who tried to squeeze between them and oncoming traffic, and at least twice I nearly collided head-on with speed cyclists who suddenly darted out from around pedestrains/cyclists in an attempt to pass them (at high speed) without any regard for what was coming in the other direction (in this case - ME!) Something needs to be done to slow those people down before someone gets SERIOUSLY injured! Aside from that, most trail users were very responsible, cautious and friendly. If you live in or near the Atlanta area, it's a must ride. But again, bring plenty of water - and until something can be done about the speeders, you might want to be sure your health insurance is up to date. :-)"
This ride is great. I did 15 miles on my first trip. The Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle will leave you speechless. The trail is both challenging and beautiful. I can't wait to go back again.
A group of senior lady riders find this to be the perfect ride. We are anxiously waiting for it to connect with the Chief Ladiga Trail. Thanks
I just love the Silver Comet trail. The best use of our tax dollars ever.
"I had the pleasure of walking the trail from the Floyd Road area toward the Fontaine Rd parking lot the other day. In the past, most of the dogs I have seen on the trail were not under control and many were on leashes well over 6 feet in length. I was amazed to come across a group of dogs that were not only under control and the most well behaved I've EVER seen, but all were wearing the proper length leashes! None of the dogs were the least bit annoyed or startled by the number of joggers, bikers, roller bladers or the other less than behaved dogs on the trail. One of the ladies with the group even had two Rottweilers that never wavered from her side. I have never seen a sight so incredible, much less Rottweilers being so calm and undisturbed by the activities. As a dog owner myself, I had to stop and talk with the group, only to learn the lady with the Rottweilers was a dog trainer and headed up the group that called themselves the Silver Comet K-9 Club. We talked at length and none of the dogs in the group once moved from their sitting positions. It was exciting to see such well behaved dogs on the trail and owners who were committed to setting a good example for all people with dogs who are using the trail. I only wish more people would follow this group's example before dogs end up being banned from using the Trail. Thumbs up to the club and thumbs up to the Rottweiler lady who kindly instructed others on proper trail etiquette while walking their dogs. Hopefully, more dog owners will follow this group's lead and properly handle their dogs on the trail. As the Rottweiler lady said to, the trail is the best thing to happen to Cobb County and the area. I must agree. The Silver Comet Trail is indeed a beautiful gift to us all. "
"What we liked about this trail was the fact that its character in Rockmart was 180 degrees different then in Smyrna. As a rail-trail, of which we have done many, we gave it a B+.
FYI, starting in Smyrna & going twds Rockmart is slightly downhill....."
"I rode a portion of this trail from Rockmart to the Pumpkin Creek Trestle and it was the most pleasant experience I've had on a bicycle yet. Great scenery. Near the end of my ride some faster guys were returning and looking a little tired. I still had a big grin on my face. Be sure and stop in the big tunnel and sing a few lines of your favorite song, it's a hoot. Rockmart has a nice little Italian place located in the square. Be sure and sign the wall."
"I have ridden my bike on the Silver Comet on several occasions and really like it. Starting near the current western trailhead (~mile marker 38) in Rockmart's attractive downtown, the first 10 to 15 miles is very scenic with thick woods, a train tunnel, and abundant wildlife. This section has few road crossings and is very quiet.
In the eastern half of Paulding County, beginning at the Pumpkinville Bridge, the sight of so many recent housing developments is disappointing. I have nothing against development, but the size and style of some of the construction seems out of touch with the nature of the trail.
The trail continues another 10 or so miles into Cobb County where the scenery is suburban, as would be expected. The number of road crossings and trail traffic increase in Cobb, as well. Fortunately, there are traffic signals/crosswalks or bridges at almost all of the crossings.
The trail surface is in excellent shape, being made up of concrete in Polk and Paulding and asphalt in Cobb. There are frequent benches, mile markers, nature and wildlife exhibits, and occasional restrooms. The PATH foundation and others deserve a lot of credit for a job well done.
Currently the trail is 38 miles from Rockmart to Smyrna. Another 12 miles connects Cedartown with the AL line. Rockmart and Cedartown will be eventually connected, allowing you to bike from Smyrna to the AL line (and beyond when the Chief Ladiga in AL is completed). "
"The Silver Comet is part rural and part suburban. The rural half west of the Pumpkinville bridge to the Alabama state line was quiet and very scenic. The eastern half also has it share of good scenery. However, there are too many housing developments that are polluting the view from the trail. "
"On Friday, November 26, 2004, the day after Thanksgiving, I took a nice and easy 28-mile run on the Silver Comet Trail. I began my run at the Floyd Street trailhead (mile post 4.2), ran west for 10 miles, did a U-turn and then I ran back to refresh my water pack. Then I headed east to the beginning of the trail to check it out and returned back to the 4.2 mile post.
The views are breathtaking and there is plenty of shade provided by the canopy of trees. For a long distance runner putting in the miles for a marathon, this was heaven. I ran with my GPS watch but the trail is so well marked with mile posts, you don't need it unless you want to check your pace. Every road crossing was very well marked and I believe all of them had a stop light with a button to stop traffic.
There are gorgeous views from bridges to tunnels and I did manage to scare up a deer along the way. If you are a serious runner and want to get out of the traffic, take a run on the Silver Comet! I am coming back for another shot of this trail for sure."
"Please forgive me for an east-west confusion in the previous review. The Silver Comet Depot bike shop is located just a few miles from the EASTERN terminus of the trail, not the western terminus as stated previously. And this mistake in direction was brought to you by a retired airline pilot! I am shamed! "
"OK, you want a good workout on a bike or roller blades or just a location to walk and jog and haven't found a suitable place in the Atlanta to Cedartown area that's free of vehicular traffic. Try the wonderful 57 mile Silver Comet Trail. Now, that's quite a few miles from suburban Atlanta to the Alabama border. At this time 38 miles are open from Smyrna to Rockmart and 8+ miles from Cedartown are available for use to the Alabama border. When completed (in 2005, we hope) all 57 miles will be available.
The Silver Comet is paved concrete or asphault (depending on county) rail bed and very smooth for riding and boarding. We found the eastern sections (close to Atlanta) the most used and occasionally crowded especially on weekends (watch out for uncontrolled kids and dogs on long leashes). The western portions are generally free of high bike and blade use and more rural in demeanor. Benches are found every two or three miles and side excursions at well traveled road intersections can reveal dining and refreshment facilities. We prefer the Dallas embarkation points as a good mid trail entry.
The Silver Comet boasts some magnificent scenery and a real lighted railroad tunnel as well as truly high trestles over ravines with fast moving streams. The grade is varied but never more than two degrees (except for a short trail connection after Rockmart). Some of the uphills are quite long but translate into booming downhills the other way.
Be sure to bring plenty of water, cell phone and a repair kit. You can get a long way from your car on this trail. Summer riding is generally quite shady and winter can be breezy. The western sections of the trail also reveal many types of wildlife so a camera might be a plus. Road crossings are well marked and some even feature traffic lights with push button activators for crossing vehicular traffic. You'll find more crossings at the western portion of the track but they're few and far between for a trail of this length.
Cedartown is building a restored rail terminal on the trail that should be open in 2005 with shops and refreshments when the Cedartown-Rockmart section is completed. And Cedartown has quite a few restaurants just off the track.
Trail maintenance is very good and there are many milage/kilometer markers . Most bench rest stops are clean and have garbage cans. There is a full service bike shop (The Silver Comet Depot) right on the trail just a few miles from the western terminus. Repairs, bike rentals, snacks and beverages are available 7 days a week.
All in all, for bikers, bladers, joggers and walkers this is the best trail we have found in the southeast. Go do it. You'll be glad you did."
"We have ridden several trails in the South and the western end of the Silver Comet is our favorite. It has its faults with benches few and far between and no bike racks. Stay away from Cobb County with the single-minded meandering cattle. Also in Cobb County, there is a of bridges over some busy intersections. Paulding and Polk are miles ahead in their Comet planning but watch out for animal feces.
Improvements that we would love to see are more benched rest areas with bike racks and covered shelters and enforcement of animal control. The Comet planners should consider the amenities found on Longleaf Trace in Hattiesburg, MS. We rate the Silver Comet 9/10 in Polk & Paulding and a 3/10 for Cobb counties."
"I am a regular user of the Silver Comet Trail. I start at the south end and ride various distances. This is a safe and enjoyable trail. I am VERY impressed with the maintenence, care and police patrols of the trail. I hope everyone will respect the trail's beauty and not trash this treasure.
Practice safety first and wear a helmet at all times. It would be a shame to have the trail closed because some fool got hurt and sued the trail management forcing the trail to close. Our future generations will be able to enjoy this beautiful bit of serenity in a great state. Thanks to all who made this trail possible."
"We rode from the Mavell Road start to the tunnel -- about 31 miles. There were interesting things along the way and plenty of access to food and water. For a Wednesday morning, there were a lot of people on the trail. Closing the link between Clarkwood Avenue and Cedartown, as well as to the eastern end of the Chief Ladiga trail, will creat almost 100 paved miles of trail. Wow!"
"We rode the Silver Comet trail from Cedartown to the Alabama line on a beautiful early spring day, hoping to ride further on the Alabama side of the line.
The trail surface is certainly negotiable on a mountain bike, but long stretches of mud and standing water were too discouraging to go very far. I look forward to Cleburne County getting enough support to finish the last four miles or so.
A secure gravel surface would be a big improvement over the mud, if asphalt is beyond current means. "
I enjoy riding on this trail at least once a week. I have just begun riding and it is an easy ride. The ride through Paulding and Polk counties is the perfect escape from the pressures of the metro Atlanta area!! Love it!
"After hearing that the western portion of the trail was the most scenic, on March 24 on our spring break, my wife Theresa, 7-year-old-son Nathaniel, 4-year-old daughter Jennifer (in the bike cart) and I rode round trip from Hiram to Rockmart, a total of 46.2 miles. Nathaniel actually rode farther, 48.6 miles, because he insisted on riding around the parking lot to get extra miles while I was loading and unloading. He's only 7 - Lance Armstrong watch out?!?!?!
The trail was nice, smooth concrete. The best section of the path was west of the Pumpkinville Trestle, about 0.7 miles west of the Rambo trailhead. The view from the trestle is great and it gave me an appreciation for the height of the southern longleaf pines. Unfortunately, construction/destruction had created a huge ugly gash in the land to the southwest of the trestle. It's a shame that this land wasn't protected to preserve the view. Kids will love the tunnel, which is lighted, although I used my bike light for visibility.
Water stops are very, very few, so make sure you carry an adequate supply. Restrooms aren't very plentiful either. West of the trestle, the trail alternates between rock cuts and considerably elevated embankments above lovely deep, wooded ravines. This section has a 14-mile stretch with little or no access points - nice and remote. Part of this section is supposed to have a wildlife refuge open to camping, but it's not labelled. Also, we only saw one stream in the refuge that could be used for drinking water with appropriate filtration or treatment (I'm also a backpacker).
At Rockmart a bike shop near the trail sells ice cream bars. It's down a street and behind a bank. The street (not labelled at the path) is across from a foot bridge that goes across a creek to a city park. It's right before the main street in Rockmart. Rockmart also has signs telling about the history of the trail and a map showing shops and restaurants in the town. The path definitely needs a nearby shop that sells hard ice cream!
Currently, the path ends at a cemetery across the main street at Rockmart, but it was being extended (there was wet cement past the cemetery). Afterward, we found a great spot to eat in Hiram, but about it was a mile up a busy road, so I would recommend driving there, especially with kids. It's Stevie B's, which has an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet for $3.99 for adults and $2.99 for kids, starting at 5:00 PM. Best of all, it's all non-smoking. Like most non-smoking restaurants that serve good food, it fills up fast, so shoot for close to 5:00. We got there around 5:20, and it was very packed shortly thereafter. Stevie B's is on Rt. 278 just west of Rt. 92, near the K-Mart.
"To the person who likes to ride fast (posting 3/8), I have 2 young kids (1 riding, one in bike cart). When surprised, young kids often get confused about what is left and right, and as a parent, telling them to keep to the right is a constant battle. I, too, have had close calls with kids. Basically, I never assume that they will listen or respond appropriately. I always slow down, just in case. Yes, I usually do my faster riding early in the morning. I've also had people come on the wrong side of the trail coming over hills, with me pulling the bike cart and not able to stop as fast. Consequently, I reduce my speed when visibility is limited. We all need to be careful. We live in Illinois and are coming down there for spring break, and we're looking forward to trying the Silver Comet Trail. Nathaniel, who's 7, loves bike riding and did 43 miles in a day last year, and I expect him to go farther this year. He delights in beating me up hills in his top gear and can make it up hills that I can't (and I'm in shape and put 2427 mi. on my bike last year - in a shorter season than you have in Georgia). Lance Armstrong watch out?!?!? We should try to make paths safe for kids, so they can enjoy a long future of biking fun, too."
"After riding the Comet only once I immediately saw a need for more trail use education. Too many individuals don't understand just how fast people ride their bikes. Our well-educated and courteous group had many close calls with people and children. Please, if you use this trail, listen for riders calling ""on your left"" then move over to the RIGHT and allow them to pass! Don't just freeze in the middle of the trail. Furthermore, keep those stray kids over to the right side and if they must stop, get them off the trail. I can only see the popularity of the Comet increasing and accidents becoming all too common if we don't educate people on proper trail use. "
"The Silver Comet is close enough to the Cobbb County and Vinings area suburbs for rapid access. The trails are easy to use, parking is close, restrooms are available and the maintenance is adequate.
The trail was once part of the Seaboard (now CSX) line from Atlanta-Birmingham, taking the name of the ""Silver Comet"" passenger train. The trail is well worth a visit and its popularity continues to increase."
Our entire family looks kinda like the peloton coming and we have invited our friends to enjoy this trail. We can't just ride part. We ride all of the trail. It great exercise. You can even get in shape riding the whole trail. Expect to stay awhile. The best rider should take 5-6 hours both ways so get out and ride the Comet. Hope to see you there.
"We have ridden this trail many times. I think the more people out rideing the merrier it is. It's a real good trail, however you must be prepared for this trail. It's long & not too many stores or restrooms. It's not too hilly. Most anyone can do this trail. You owe it to yourself to try the whole trail so look to stay all day. Come ride the Comet."
"WE JUMPED ON IN HIRAM AT THE 14.6 MILE MARKER AND WENT TO THE WEST END INTO ROCKMART AT THE 37.5 MILE MARKER
THE RIDE IS GREAT THE PEOPLE THAT DID THIS DID AN AMAZING JOB.THE SURFACE IS WONDERFUL, WELL MAINTAINED, GREAT PARKING
EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS RIDE.WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO RIDING THE COMPLETE TRAIL NEXT TRIP"
"What a beautiful paved trail...it seems no effort was spared to preserve the natural environment...thrilling bridges where you feel like you are riding thru treetops...able to maintain a contiuous pace very easily because of the very gentle grade. I give it at ""10""!!"
"These are the GPS Coordinates as taken from Garmin's MapSource. I took them at the intersection of the old Rail Track and the street name, except for Fontaine, where I used the intersection of E West Connector and Fontaine Road. Cordinates are listed East to West with Mavell Road being the closest to I285.
Hope you find these usefull. I had a hardtime figuring where they were, so I figured I'd make your life easier. Happy Trails.
I'll also post some pictures of the Parking/Trail access soon.
N 33 50.510 W084 31.100
N 33 50.732 W084 32.336
N 33 51.108 W084 33.521
N 33 50.830 W084 35.153
N 33.52.199 W084 42.126"
We took our two boys and had a great time!! The trail is flat enough for young children to bike on. Stops are fequently avaiable for rest and water. Highly reccommended for a great family outing!!!
"I have just had the most wonderful experience, riding bikes through the countryside of Georgia. The concrete trail rose and fell very gently cutting through the rolling hills of eastern Ga. I saw 7 wild turkeys ( big!), one rattlesnake ( small!), deer and numerous birds and small animals. People were there but scarce. The fall air was crisp and trees were just showing their colors. It was a great ride, I barely noticed that I was getting exercise at the same time.( until the next day) I recommend it to all ages. Please read this as a raving review, really. Bring water. "
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