Silver Comet Trail
I felt like a Hell’s Angel sitting on my low-slung, bad-boy Harley.
I looked like a dork. (See 4th picture on carousel for proof.)
I didn’t care. The bike I rode was a recumbent, and I probably didn’t ever exceed twenty mph. But that’s okay.
The weather was perfect; the trail was incredible.
According to the literature, The Silver Comet is the longest paved trail in the U.S.
It is the ideal trail for a recumbent bike or just about any other bike for that matter.
I started my ride on a Thursday. I started in Smyrna, Georgia where I rented a recumbent bike. There were a few people on the trail, but the population diminished rapidly as I headed west.
There’s absolutely no chance of getting lost on this trail. Not only is it extremely wide and mostly concrete, but it is also well marked. For the first portion of the trail, there is a (mostly) separate path for equestrians, but I only saw a couple horseback riders.
One of the only bad aspects of the trail is the numerous road crossings. Trail users are required to stop at these crossings, and I strongly recommend caution. Many drivers seemed oblivious to the trail crossings and didn’t slow down much at the trail intersections.
However, once you reach mile 22, the road crossings become much less frequent. It is at this point that you start hitting some beautifully scenic spots also. For example, you cross the Pumpkinville Trestle at mile 23. This is a great photo op not only for the trestle itself, but also for the flowers planted on each end. I was there in the spring and was fortunate enough to view some sunburst yellow tulips greeting my entrance to the trestle.
The next attraction along the trail (I never did see Castle Rock) is the Brushy Mountain Tunnel at mile 31. The tunnel is well-lit, but had some standing water in it on the day I went through. Both the tunnel and the trestle had plenty of benches for resting and enjoying the view.
If you want a great town for stopping to enjoy lunch or dinner, I recommend Rockmart. The town incorporates the Silver Comet Trail into its River Walk and it results in a welcoming atmosphere for trail-users and locals alike.
Another small problem with the trail is overnight accommodations. If you’re interested in finding a hotel, there are none too close to the trail. I spent the night at a hotel in Cedartown, but it was quite a ways off the trail. I’m hoping this will change over time, but for now, you may want to keep that in mind if planning an overnight trail excursion.
The trail between Rockmart and Cedartown had some fairly steep spots on it. From Cedartown to the Alabama border (near Esom Hill) also had a bit of a climb. It was nothing that the granny gears on my rented recumbent couldn’t handle, but be careful. I heard some stories of people wiping out on the way back down due to gravel or mud on the trail. It’s easy to pick up steam, so use caution.
There’s a great resting/picnic spot at the Alabama/Georgial border, and once you cross the border, you have left the Silver Comet Trail and started on the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama.
I found the Silver Comet Trail to be a wonderful spring ride. It looked like it would be fairly shaded in the summer and gorgeous in the fall, so you may want to put it on your trail to-do list.
Use(s): biking, cruiser, Elliptigo, hiking, inline skating, mountain biking, recumbent, road biking, trail running, Trikking
Length Range: 50 - 75 miles