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Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Silver Comet Trail

Venture through a tunnel & over three trestles on your magical rail-trail journey from Atlanta, GA to the Alabama border

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 62 miles / 100 km
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: This trail has it all. In addition to all the categories listed above, the trail also welcomes inline skaters and wheelchairs. And at over 60 miles in length, you'll have logged 120 miles round trip, so make plans to stay in either Rockmart or Cedartown because that's a lot of trail for one day.
But wait... There's more. Because if you add the Chief Ladiga Trail to your plans, you can travel all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to Aniston, Alabama. That's right, from A to... well, A. Now your one way total is over 100 miles with a 200 mile round trip. That's some bike trail; or hiking trail, or roller-blading trail, or horseback riding trail, or...
You will enjoy crossing breath-taking trestles, tunneling under mountains, photographing unique birdhouses, visiting small-town Georgia, and meeting lots of smiling people along the way. This trail is truly a southern charmer you'll remember for a lifetime.


Tips: - Plan ahead. If you're going to do the whole trail, you'll probably want to plan for more than one day. You will pass through a couple towns, but lodging isn't very near the trail, so make sure to reserve in advance and get directions.
- Try renting a recumbent. They're a blast.
- Be prepared for an urban experience (lots of folks on the trail & quite a few road crossings) on the east end of the trail and a rural experience for the west end.
- There are many miles between services, so come prepared with water, snacks, rain clothes, & bike repair tools/parts.
- This trail is perfect in the spring and fall, fairly nice in the winter, but pretty hot in the summer, unless you get an early start and plan to lay low during the afternoon heat. Drink lots of water.

Points of Interest

Junction
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Connector Trail

The trail begins here... or does it?
This is near mile zero for the trail, but a connector trail starts near here & will likely continue deeper into Atlanta as the years roll on. But for now, let's call this the official starting point of the Silver Comet Trail.
Your best bet for lodging near the start of the trail is in this area, but there aren't many places real close to the trail without crossing some busy roads.
Parking
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Floyd Rd. Trailhead & Silver Comet Depot

This would be another good starting spot for your journey on the Silver Comet Trail for the following reasons:
- It is a major trailhead with a large parking lot.
- There is a great bike rental shop here called Silver Comet Depot. In addition to renting regular trail bikes, they also have a nice selection of recumbents. If you've never tried a recumbent before, I highly recommend it. The Silver Comet Trail is the perfect trail for trying your first recumbent.
- From this point westward, the trail traffic and road-crossings taper off quickly. You'll still see quite a few people, especially on weekends, but it's really crazy east of here.
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Georgia countryside

As you head west, you begin to see fewer road crossings, less trail & road traffic, & more of the sweet Georgia Countryside. As you can see by the accompanying pictures, this trail is well marked with directional signs and mile markers.
Parking
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trailhead

A restroom & plenty of parking is available at this point. Less than a mile east of here is the famous Pumpkinville Trestle.
Landmark
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Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle

Located at mile marker 23, Pumpkinvine Trestle is one of the must-see sights on the trail. The trestle was built in 1901 and restored for trail use in 1999. It is over 750 feet long and is a marvel to view and affords beautiful views of the valley below. There are rest stops on either side of the trestle, and they're often adorned with colorful flowers. This makes a great resting spot.
Landmark
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Brushy Mountain Railroad Tunnel

Near mile 31 on the Silver Comet Trail is the second must-see sight. It is the Brushy Mountain Railroad Tunnel, and it burrows directly under the Brushy Mountain Road. The tunnel is well lit, but often quite damp so watch where you rest your feet. It is not a real long tunnel, but both sides are quite picturesque, so hopefully you brought your camera.
Parking
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Coot's Lake trailhead

This trailhead has a gravel parking lot, recreation area, restrooms, a phone, & nearby dining.
Restroom
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Rockmart, Georgia

Enjoy the Riverwalk, historic downtown Rockmart, restaurants, restrooms, and an old depot. The trail crosses over bridges, under bridges, and wanders through a park, so be sure to ride slowly and enjoy the ambience of Rockmart. Frankie's Italian Restaurant is famous for catering to trail users, but during the offseason, their hours are quite limited.
Information
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Grady Hill

This was the last section of the Silver Comet Trail to be completed. It is also the steepest part on the trail, so be ready. It is not part of the original railroad grade, so it is steeper than your average rail-trail. Check your speed when going downhill. There is often sand & gravel on the trail & locals can tell stories of numerous wipe outs on this section. This is especially true of road bikes with high pressure tires.
Food/Dining
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Cedartown, Georgia

Like most of the towns along the way, lodging is quite a ways off the trail, but there is lodging available. There are also restaurants and stores, but not many of them are near the route of the Silver Comet.
Information
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End of Silver Comet Trail...

... beginning of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama.
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trail scenery

Enjoy the sights along the trail.
Information
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Hmmmmm?

Animals/Wildlife
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The Birdhouses of Polk and Paulding Counties

Each rail trail has its distinctions and charm. One of the many charming touches you'll find along the Silver Comet Trail is the birdhouse display out in the middle of nowhere. Some of them are truly unique and imaginative. My favorites were the ones in old hard hats.
Pictures in this guide taken by: trailsnet

Silver Comet Trail Trail Map


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I am a recently retired teacher whose new "career" is to explore as many trails as possible. I am especially...

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