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Silver Comet / Chief Ladiga Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Silver Comet Trail and/or Chief Ladiga Trail.
 
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Leaving a car in Cedartown
 - 
KellyAnne from Pell City on 10/24/2020 08:34 AM
A friend and I are planing to leave our car at Cedartown overnight but have noticed several warning about crime in the area. Anyone have recommendations about leaving the car unattended overnight in Cedartown?


Rent a Truck
 - 
Landholt from Columbia, SC on 07/26/2020 09:13 AM
Hey there! I see a lot of these questions are geared towards shuttles, and inquiries about how to leave a car at one side. My spouse and I plan to leave our truck in Smyrna, rent a Nissan Frontier or something similar at the Enterprise Rent A Car in Smyrna, throw our bikes in the rental truck, drive to Anniston and drop the rental at the Enterprise there, 8 miles from the trail head. It'll cost about $150, it was the only viable solution we could think of short of enlisting someone's help with a drop off. Let me know your thoughts and I hope this idea helps y'all!

 
BiknJ from Orange Park, FL on 08/07/2020 02:08 PM
I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to use it, but I think it's a great idea. I'll share it with those who ask me about the trail.

I organized a small group to ride the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails three years ago. Due to a couple of elderly riders, one with heart problems (me), we decided to forego riding loaded. I didn't know what a wise decision it was until we got to the hilly part! Our plan was to camp at the two commercial campgrounds on the trail and ride out and back in each direction. The campgrounds are nicely spaced for that... although we did shuttle to Hiram the first day to keep the first days about 30 miles.

Unfortunately our trip was cut short by nasty weather. It was November. Cycling and tent camping in the rain at 40° just didn't sound like fun. We were glad we had vehicles with us.

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/21/2020 01:09 PM
Willing to assist with a shuttle.


Paulding Chamber Trailhead in Dallas
 - 
Ronny on 05/24/2020 04:11 PM
There's a new sign at the Paulding Chamber exit off the Silver Comet that points to "Dallas Battlefield Trail." What's that? Do you have to ride on regular highways and roads to get there?

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/21/2020 10:58 AM
It is about 1.5 miles away to the to the park.
All travel is on roads except the 278 piece to Hwy 61 has a paved bike trail.


Assit with shuttle
 - 
Bruce from Marietta on 09/09/2020 02:34 PM
I ride the trail all the time. Love it.
I am willing to assist with a shuttle or information about the trail.
You can contact me on BikeForms.net my handle is 1979schwinn.

 
Tony from Port St Lucie on 09/19/2020 10:40 AM
1979Schwinn
Saw your post, Im kicking the idea of driving up to Smyrna, dropping my car and renting a car to head to Anniston..what do you charge for shuttle from Smyrna to Anniston, and if you are able to do it what is your availability?
Thanks
Skydude58@yahoo.com

 
Tony from Port St Lucie on 09/19/2020 04:25 PM
1979Schwinn
Saw your post, Im kicking the idea of driving up to Smyrna, dropping my car and renting a car to head to Anniston..what do you charge for shuttle from Smyrna to Anniston, and if you are able to do it what is your availability?
Thanks
Skydude58@yahoo.com

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/01/2020 10:14 AM
No charge.
Just need to schedule it an get it on my calendar.

You can email me at: bcoyle@paulding.gov

 
bikemom from nc on 10/08/2020 07:45 PM
I am looking to ride the trail the week of Oct 21. Would love to get a shuttle or take a train so my husband and I can do the route in two days. What information do you have?

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/09/2020 01:18 PM
Most of the trail is shaded and runs 2-4% grade.
Zoom into the map and more detail shows up.
The start in Smyrna is a busy commercial area.
It then blends into suburban areas but is still secluded.
Next is Hiram (good Bike Shop), then Dallas. West of Dallas is wilderness till Rockmart.
Rockmart to Cedartown is country with a 8% grade for about a mile. West of Cedartown is country and wilderness till Piedmont. Then you head to Jacksonville (collage town), mostly parallels to a road off and on. to Anniston. There are a few bathrooms and water stops along the way. Get water at Hiram, Dallas, Rockmart, Cedartown, Jacksonville and Anniston.

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/09/2020 01:27 PM
Spending the night.
The free campsite is Camp Comet west of Rockmart (near Fish Creek). There are pay campsites before Rockmart, in Al at Chief Lagiga Camp (before Piedmont), and at the end in Anniston.
There are various hotels & BB mostly l-2 miles off the trail.
Zoom in on the map, click on them, and contact them for reservation.

 
Tony from Port St Lucie on 10/09/2020 02:57 PM
Is camping in Camp Comet West safe?

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/21/2020 10:47 AM
Yes, no one is anywhere near you.
Middle of nowhere.


Camp Comet in Cedartown
 - 
Anonymous on 08/06/2020 08:32 PM
Any current info?

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/09/2020 01:34 PM
Primitive, filter your water, no facilities.

 
Anonymous on 10/12/2020 11:06 AM
Bruce is correct. But I would like to add that there is a port-o-let at the Don Williams Trailhead, a quarter mile east of the camp. It was very clean when I was there a few years ago. Sure beats squatting in the woods for #2. The camp was well kept with two or three clear areas for tents. It also had a couple of grills and some log benches. It's back in the woods and very shady. Don't forget your favorite bug repellent.


Mileage
 - 
PW. from Roswell on 10/03/2020 04:25 PM
First time on the trail . We began at the trail head at Heritage park and rode to Anderson Farm Road . I would like to know if anyone knows the mileage between the two points ?

 
Ray on 10/03/2020 07:19 PM
That's a little over 6 miles, one-way.


Mileage
 - 
PW. from Roswell on 10/03/2020 03:33 PM
First time on the trail . We began at the trail head at Heritage park and rode to Anderson Farm Road . I would like to know if anyone knows the mileage between the two points ?


Stray Puppies
 - 
Karen Kennington from Atlanta on 10/03/2020 11:25 AM
This morning while I was riding bikes with a friends we came upon 4 stray puppies right at the start of the Chief Ladiga Trail right as you enter Alabama. We were not able to take the puppies because we were on bikes but if anyone knows a shelter or someone who would be willing to try and rescue these adorable pups it would be greatly appreciated.


Most Scenic Segment
 - 
Pop from Memphis on 09/12/2020 12:12 PM
Hello, my wife and I are looking for the most scenic 10 to 12 mile segment of the trail for a 20 to 25 mile R/T ride. I looked at parking at Germain Park Jacksonville and riding to Piedmont and back. I'm guessing its not the most scenic though? My wife is still rebuilding/recovering from a Tibia Plateau Fracture from 2019 and doesn't have max endurance back yet. Just want to be sure we pick the best segment for scenery, etc to make the trip from Memphis worth it.

 
Bob Woodson from Weaver on 09/19/2020 08:33 AM
A ride from Eubanks Welcome Center, Piedmont, AL to mile marker 7 is a great ride of about 14 miles with beautiful sights in the National Forest.

 
Bruce from Marietta on 10/02/2020 12:32 PM
Suggested Ride from Martin Trail Head (West side of Cedartown, GA) to Alabama State line and back. This is 16 miles round trip, flat, and scenic.


Holiday Inn Express in Cedartown
 - 
Jennifer Walker on 08/31/2020 11:03 PM
This is no longer a Holiday Inn Express... it's an Econo Lodge...


Eubanks Welcome Center, Piedmont, AL
 - 
Robert Woodson from Weaver on 07/21/2020 09:14 AM
All facilities are open at the Welcome Center including the outside restroom facilities. You will need a face covering if you go into the Center.

The trail (CLT) remains a rough ride in the Piedmont, Bordon Springs areas, from mile marker 1 to 23, ride with caution, a helmet, and sound equipment.


Overnight parking in Piedmont
 - 
Mike from Madison, Al on 06/28/2020 11:14 PM
I going to be riding the trail from Piedmont to Smyrna On July 17 with a small group and returning the next day. I’m wondering where’s a safe location to park overnight In Piedmont

 
BiknJ from Orange Park, FL on 06/30/2020 04:51 PM
Have you visited this page.
https://www.piedmontcity.org/chief-ladiga-trail/
There's a phone number and two different emails listed ...one at the very top of the page and another at the bottom.

 
Mike on 07/13/2020 11:45 AM
After talking with the Piedmont Welcome Center, I'm comfortable leaving my car there overnight. You need to get a parking permit from them first just as a record

 
BiknJ from Orange Park, FL on 07/13/2020 09:43 PM
Have a great ride!


Paulding Chamber Trailhead in Dallas
 - 
Ronny on 05/24/2020 04:11 PM
There's a new sign at the Paulding Chamber exit off the Silver Comet that points to "Dallas Battlefield Trail." What's that? Do you have to ride on regular highways and roads to get there?

 
TCLanier from Buford, GA on 07/13/2020 08:21 PM
Good summary of what is / was being built

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/dallas-building-battlefield-trail-bridge/It5tGUmHFnpFtaJh3CaeXP/


Cycling to Alabama State Line
 - 
Courtney Sills from Fayetteville on 06/24/2020 07:17 PM
Where is a car pick up spot on or around The Alabama State Line

 
Tom M on 06/26/2020 10:39 PM
The "Easom Hill Trailhead" is a parking lot about a mile east of the AL/GA state line. I recently rode the Chief Ladiga Trail from there to Anniston. I had my video camera running so you can relive the ride on your smart (or otherwise) trainer or just watch on Kinomap.com:

https://vsuq.adj.st/userName=tmilligan?adjust_t=e3qslbp&adjustdeeplink=com.kinomap.training%3A%2F%2F%3FuserName%3D?tmilligan&adjust_redirect=https://www.kinomap.com/en/u/tmilligan/videos

I was unable to find any kind of shuttle service that would take me from/to any trailhead on the CL/SC trail, so my spouse ran the sag wagon and dropped me off at Easom Hill and picked me up in Anniston, GA.


Various Questions
 - 
Rick from Grafton, Va. on 05/24/2020 09:51 PM
4-6 of us are planning a thru ride along the SC/CL Rail Trails. I've noticed there seems to be more questions than answers in the forum. Is anyone aware of a shuttle service? We're planning to park at Highland Station and bike westward. Do you need to register your vehicle for overnight stays/multiday stays at the shopping center? We'd actually like to shuttle from Smyrna to Anniston and bike back camping 2 nights.

This is a great website. I just wish there were more answers to trail user questions. I'll contact Southern Express Sag but they seem to be more of a sag wagon option. Thanks

 
Wish from Atlanta on 05/25/2020 10:49 AM
For most people, if not for everyone, top-3 unanswered questions are:

i) can I/we park somewhere for 1-4 night(s)?
ii) can I/we camp somewhere along the trail?
iii) can I/we get a shuttle from either side?

And the reason these are unanswered, because nobody knows the answers.

Park at your own risk (and let us know the experience) or park in a paid parking facility and ask them to drop you on the trail. Or maybe just bike down the roads!

There are camping sites along the trail (think there was one near the state boundary, but I didn't explore that option as I was not interested). I doubt many bikers would carry heavy camping gears; hotels work better for some, particularly with hot waters, comfy beds, no set-ups required and low prices. Believe it or not, the ride is rigorous and you won't want more load or more work for that matter. Still, maybe you can carry your gear, try couple of campsites and post which one is the best for the benefit of others.

There is currently no known shuttle services. If there was one, it would be advertising all over the internet. Even Amtrak at Anniston won't allow your bike currently. Uber with bike rack was a failure and discontinued after the pilot run.

Best would be to have a friend or family member on either side of the trail. We still live in a society :)

 
Rick Hancock from Grafton, Va on 05/25/2020 07:37 PM
Wish,
I appreciate your reply although it seemed to be rather snooty. I've used (and contributed) to the Allegheny Passage/ C&O forums for years. We enjoy traveling self contained and camping out. Miles and hills don't scare us. On longer rides we'll generally stay in a motel every 4-5 days for showers, ect. I know there are 2 campgrounds plus a 3rd campsite that has no water from what I've read. Since I'm coming appx. 8-9 hours from Va. I don't have family to ferry me. In regards to shuttle info, I thought someone on the site might have some "little known" info. This is my 1st ride on the SC/CL Trail so I was asking questions of other trail users to go along with what I've gathered.

 
Wish from Atlanta on 05/25/2020 10:56 PM
Hey Rick, suggestions were not specific to your situation. I addressed it to 'most people', hoping it would end the confusion and egg people to contribute more. Enjoy your ride.

 
RegularJoe from Buford, GA on 06/25/2020 10:06 PM
Wish summarizes the standing questions well.
Regarding camping I have found The Rock Campground, a few miles east of Rockmart to be a fine place. Have been there once each year the last 3 years. Here is the website:
https://therockrvpark.com/


Eubanks Welcome Center, Piedmont, AL
 - 
Robert Woodson from Weaver on 02/18/2020 09:33 AM
Welcome Center will be closed today.

 
Trekster on 02/24/2020 08:22 AM
Can anyone give me an idea of trail conditions due to all the rain

 
Robert Woodson from Weaver on 02/28/2020 07:35 AM
Congratulations to Jacksonville, AL trail maintenance department, all ungulations have been leveled, much safer ride now. Would be great if Jacksonville could teach Piedmont and Cleburne county how to mill down the raised asphalt.

 
Robert Woodson from Weaver on 04/16/2020 06:53 AM
Welcome Center and Restrooms closed in Piedmont, AL, plan accordingly. Restrooms open at Train Station in Jacksonville, AL and at the end of the CLT in Anniston, AL

 
Bob Woodson from Weaver on 05/19/2020 06:50 AM
Welcome Center in Piedmont opened yesterday with bathroom and drinks. Outside restrooms not open. Coffee Shop open for coffee and sandwiches, also has a restroom. Mask required for access to Welcome Center.


Are both trails fully open?
 - 
MS from Michigan on 04/27/2020 07:38 PM
We would like to ride the full 95 miles both ways in mid May. Are both trails open for riding? Are we allowed to leave our car at the shopping center in Smyrna or a trailhead for 2 nights? And, do you know if the campgrounds are open? I will call, but just curious. Thank you for any info you can provide!! We are looking forward to it!


End to end bike ride
 - 
Wish from Atlanta on 12/01/2019 07:49 PM
I had been mentally preparing for biking Silver Comet + Chief Ladiga trails end to end for a while. So this Black Friday after Thanksgiving I did it. Though I had done the portion between Mavell Road (trailhead in Smyrna) and Hiram few times before, I didn't know what else to expect. Online fora did provide some info, but internet could be so different than the reality! So I approached this like other challenges in life with the guiding philosophy of "prepare mentally, power through and don't ever cheat". I also reminded myself of my school days when I used to ride bikes every day for everything. With that thought, I got my bike checked at local bike shop, purchased a new helmet, got a gel seat cover for my road bike, purchased snacks and drinks, charged everything (lights, phone, power bank, bluetooth earpiece..what not!)..and boom, started at 8.30 AM from Mavell Road, just by myself. Though my wife was supportive in planning, shopping, and dropping me till there, I couldn’t trick her to do it with me ?

Day after Thanksgiving meant, there were not many people on the trail. So I decided to say hello to everyone :) My first stop was in Dallas, GA. It took me about 1.5 hours to get there. I spent near 15 minutes there, used the restrooms, had some snacks, talked to a local senior citizen and continued on. Coot's Lake was my next stop because of the natural beauty. Great lake but little facilities (one portable toilet, no water filling station, no shade on the trail side). Still there was a sweet family of 4, and some cars parked, so felt normal.

From there on, it was unknown territory. I wish I had known better. Rockmart was too soon after Coot’s Lake, so I didn’t stop there. It was about noon by now and I had planned to reach Cedartown by 2PM. I got down from the bike near the Cemetery in Rockmart though, and walked my bike there. Felt bad to bike past that. That sort of became the harbinger of things to come. For the next 10 miles or so, it’s the best kept secret of Silver Comet, the “Surprise Hill”. Somebody must have decided to throw a challenge there, and made the trail encircle several hills. I rode alongside a motorized highway for few miles. Very bare, nothing shaded. And no, it’s not a rail-trail there at all. Because I was going up the hill all the time and noticed the rail track way below the trail. When that stretch ended, it was followed by a stretch with muddy and smelly side areas. My backpack with all day’s supply started feeling all too heavy by this time. I wanted to sit down, but there was no way I was stopping in that stretch. So, I powered through. I had started to feel every organ and fat cells in my body by then. Thankfully, a mile later, there were lovely farmhouses by the trail and few benches to sit on, even a table! Though there was no restroom. Still, I took a break there, ate some snacks, rehydrated myself, called my wife, complained about the lack of information provided like an entitled millennial and reassessed the plan. It was about 1.30 PM, and I had done about 45 miles of the total 95 miles. From my last stop in Coot’s Lake till here, I had barely seen anyone on the trail. Google told me Cedartown Depot was still 6 miles away. Going by the uphill territory, and the super high heart rate for last hour or so, I figured it would take me at least 45 minutes to get to Cedartown. There, I’d need a solid 1-2-hour(s) break and recharging. That meant I needed to stay in Cedartown probably till 4.00 PM. Did I mention the sunset at this time of the year occurs around 5.00 PM? The trail, of course, is legally open only from dawn to dusk! Time to put my luckiest charm on and call my wife! “Honey, I don’t feel good that you’re by yourself on Black Friday and I’m out there having fun on the trail. So, why don’t you come over to Cedartown and we will have the nightfall there! I hear there are plenty of good shops in nearby Rome ????”. That worked! Lo and behold, wife was on her way to Cedartown Depot.

I reached the depot before her though, around 2.30 PM. The Welcome Center, including the restrooms were very closed. Though it’s a cute little town, there were notices all-around to be aware of crime. Good thing, the depot is in the heart of Cedartown downtown, and the traffic was very respectable of a cyclist. I biked to the nearby Town Plaza that had plenty of food and lodge options! Wife joined me there. I was rejuvenated just by the sight of her’s. Besides, what would a few kisses and touches not fix! As women are inherently more capable of better planning and nurturing than men, wife had a dinner buffet reserved, a good hotel booked and brought on my night clothes and morning necessities. The Jacuzzi had never felt better in my life! That night I slept like a baby!

(Rest to follow)

 
Wish from Atlanta on 12/01/2019 10:17 PM
(Continued..)

I woke up well past 10 next morning. It was a typical Saturday morning, except the effects of day after 51 miles biking were apparent. Muscles and joints sore, heart rate still a little high, and my butt slightly swollen (damn that gel seat cover). I thought of the night before – I remembered feeling cold, popping a paracetamol, and wife giving me a body massage to put me to sleep. What was I thankful for this year again!

Room coffee was no good. Wife had found a great brunch place by then. I dressed-up and we left for the brunch in Rome. God, the waiting line was so loooooooong. Had some lovely conversations while waiting though, Rome has its own laurels. I had a high protein breakfast. It took us only 1.5 hours there, so it was well past noon. And I had promised to take my wife to Shopping! God, was it going to be another day? Wife figured my misery and decided to stomp on it.

Wife (playfully) - “Honey, should we go to the mall now?”

Me – ‘you mean in Anniston, AL, right?’

Wife – “Of course!”

She dropped me to the Cedartown depot. We took some great pictures there. I discarded the seat cover and was back on the trail by 1.30 PM. From there to the state boundary in Esom Hill, it was mostly uphill, 150 ft. or so over 11 miles. I didn’t have any problem doing that in about an hour. Highest point I noticed was about 950 ft above sea level. Wife joined me at the state boundary, we shot some videos and took some pictures. We met few other bikers who were also from Atlanta. As for facilities, there were no restrooms, but some benches and shades, and, of course, the welcome arch. The Silver Comet trail ends there (or starts there, depending upon which side you are coming from), and Chief Ladiga trail starts. Chief Ladiga trail has 33 miles that I had to do. It was about 3.00 PM by then. Google said sunset was at 4.22 PM in Anniston, AL where the Chief Ladiga trail ends. Time zone changes couple miles into Alabama!

I had about 2 hours to do 33 miles. Good thing is, it’s all downhill from Esom Hill, GA to Piedmont, AL. I walked my wife to the Jeep and resumed biking. I reminded myself that it won’t get totally dark right after the sunset, so the trail would still be legally open. That thought brought some comfort and allowed me to appreciate the magical mountain chains in the background. I muttered “Alabama has its heart in place” when I noticed the trail surface being Asphalt! (Georgia has only 13 miles of Asphalt and rest concrete). Though, Asphalt would invariably break and be bumpy. So, I left it to the experts to determine what’s the best surface for the trail and indulged in taking selfies by small rivers, creeks and bridges in the protected wilderness of Talladega National Forest at the foot of Duggar Mountains. I felt super happy in the moment.

Wife surprised me with a cheer girl routine at Eubanks Welcome Center at Piedmont. It was easily the best neighborhood over the last 50 miles or so. Small children playing, dogs jumping around, cats meowing, and squirrels charging at you before making sudden U-turns. Saying hello to everyone finally paid off. People seemed happy. Dark clouds and wind were noticeable though. The watch ticked 4.00 PM. I had 19 miles more to go.

“Go, go, go”

I was speeding though I didn’t notice any posted signs. The miles went past in a hurry, most of it felt downhill. I switched on the front and back flashlights, which was a good move considering there were several street crossings. Large offices and plants also felt like coming back to the city life, which I had begun to crave by then. Jacksonville State University felt like a great area. From there, the last few miles went contemplating when would I ever get to do this again! I let out a shriek – a mix of joy, relief and missing you already - when the sign said, “Welcome to Anniston”.

Anniston was just the right place for the after party. And shopping!

 
Regular Joe from LakeLanierLand on 12/09/2019 02:16 PM
Really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you.

 
BiknJ from Orange Park, FL on 12/19/2019 11:59 PM
I enjoyed it too. In fact, at times I was laughing out loud. I've ridden from Smyrna to Cedartown and I know where those hills are. I did a lot of research before I went up there ...so I wasn't totally surprised. I had to walk up Mount Trashmore. Luckily I wasn't trying to do it all in one day. We had to cut our trip short when it got cold and wet. 35 degrees and raining in late November is not ideal riding weather.

 
magda on 12/25/2019 10:11 PM
Enjoy reading about your experience. Didn't know about the hills. Thanks for sharing.

 
Wish from Atlanta on 12/27/2019 11:47 AM
Thank you for the kind words! I'd love to hear more about other people's experiences and also about other good trails in the area.

This last weekend I did Path400 (caution: not fully open yet) to Beltline to Stone Mountain. I am thinking of doing the Chattahoochee Riverwalk/Bike next. Anyone interested in joining?

 
Anita from Atlanta on 02/10/2020 12:56 PM
Super liked your post. Did you bike the Chattahoochee river-walk?

 
Wish from Atlanta on 02/15/2020 11:35 PM
@Anita: Yes! But I'm always game for Columbus. Not sure whether or not to drop my coordinates here, maybe admin can help get connected.

 
Ray [webmaster] on 02/17/2020 07:47 AM
Yes if you are trying to get connected but don't want to publicly post your email, send it to me at contact@bikesilvercomet.com. Then I'll share the emails with you both.

 
Anne from Greenville,SC on 03/10/2020 08:28 PM
I have some logistical questions. Is it possible to rent bikes at one end or the other, complete the trail, and somehow get the bikes back to where they belong? Any ideas?

 
BiknJ from Orange Park, FL on 03/10/2020 09:55 PM
Ride it back. ;-)

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