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Old 04-15-12, 05:26 PM   #1
TomD77
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Chief Ladiga Trail, spectacular ride in Alabama

On a number of occasions I've ridden portions of the Silver Comet Trail, starting near Atlanta and heading west to Alabama but until last Thursday I had never been been on the western portions. The Silver Comet starts near Smyrna, Ga (home of Glock USA) and runs 60+ miles to the Alabama border and then, as the Chief Ladiga Trail, runs another 35 miles into Alabama.

Last Thursday, my brother and I started on the Silver Comet near Cedartown, GA and went west to Piedmont, Al. The ride went through some of the lower Appalachian Mountains but it followed a river valley. We went over bridge after bridge over deep gorges with beautiful streams at the bottom.

I'm sure there are more beautiful bike rides somewhere but I haven't found them.

BTW: In over 30 miles, we saw 2 bikers and 4 people walking.











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Old 04-15-12, 06:22 PM   #2
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Looks like an amazing trail. But like a similar trail in Mississippi, the Long Leaf Trace, its a shame that it doesn't get more use. Trails in more highly populated area, and areas where more people ride bikes, have in excess of 100,000 users days per year, e.g. Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation area in Ohio and the Delaware & Raritan Towpath Trail in NJ. The trails in DC probably get a million plus annual users. And then there are the trails in Boulder, CO that are so heavily used that the bikers and walkers are in open warfare.

I guess the Alabama trail fits the description of national parks by George F. Will, "An aristocratic pleasure, democratically available to all." Too bad the national parks are falling into disarray due to disuse by most people under 60 and an attendant lack of funding.

Ride it while you can. And support your national parks.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:56 PM   #3
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Last summer I rode Hiram to Cedartown, then Piedmont to the west end of the trail past/around Jacksonville. I missed the section you rode. I'll have to try it this summer. I wasn't real impressed with the west end of the trail. It mostly ran alongside a highway. The part that runs through Georgia is great. Ran into some people I met in Missouri!
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Old 04-15-12, 08:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting your lovely pictures. I'll be riding the Chief Ladiga / Silver Comet in Oct on my way from Pueblo, CO to Hilton Head. Really looking forward to this section!
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Old 04-15-12, 09:03 PM   #5
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I rode that section from Rockmart to Anniston and back a few years ago with my son. Very pretty country. You caught it at a good time to have it to yourself. I don't think there is any shortage of people using the trails.
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Old 04-16-12, 06:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the report and pictures Tom. I'll have to hit a few of these trails when we go up to Atlanta to visit our daughter in a few weeks.

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Old 04-16-12, 07:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the report and pictures Tom. I'll have to hit a few of these trails when we go up to Atlanta to visit our daughter in a few weeks.

Bill
If you're in Atlanta, the Silver Comet (link) is a must. There are also some fun Greenway Trails over in the Roswell/Alpharetta area. The Atlanta area facilities are a lot more crowded that we're used to down here, weekdays are better if you have the choice.

In what area of Atlanta will you be? I lived there my entire life before I moved to your neck of the woods a few years back.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:28 AM   #8
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She just moved within Atlanta so I am not sure. I'd like to go out to where you rode but am up for some good miles in Atlanta too.

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Old 04-16-12, 08:50 AM   #9
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My longest ride ever was on the Silver Comet. 50 miles on my Dahon Boardwalk D6.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:16 PM   #10
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As Bluesdawg said, there's no real shortage of travellers on the Ladiga and Silver Comet Trails. In fact, last June when El Segundo and I rode them from Piedmont to Smyrna and back, the section closest to Atlanta was more like a cycling super highway than a trail! There were so many cyclists on that section the ride was rather nerve racking dodging the aero-bar speedsters and the small children going all over the trail. That's one small section on a wonderful trail though. A fantastic ride and many miles of scenic countryside with no worries of car horns or getting doored!
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Old 04-17-12, 07:05 AM   #11
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As Bluesdawg said, there's no real shortage of travellers on the Ladiga and Silver Comet Trails. In fact, last June when El Segundo and I rode them from Piedmont to Smyrna and back, the section closest to Atlanta was more like a cycling super highway than a trail! There were so many cyclists on that section the ride was rather nerve racking dodging the aero-bar speedsters and the small children going all over the trail. That's one small section on a wonderful trail though. A fantastic ride and many miles of scenic countryside with no worries of car horns or getting doored!
Good to hear those trails are getting a lot of use. They are a wonderful resource.
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Old 04-17-12, 07:47 AM   #12
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What he said

+1,000,000

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Old 04-17-12, 10:04 AM   #13
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Where can I look to get some detailed maps and information on the Chief LadIga trail?
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Old 04-17-12, 10:09 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info. I know where we're going this summer!
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Old 04-17-12, 01:29 PM   #15
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Where can I look to get some detailed maps and information on the Chief LadIga trail?
The Sliver Comet (link) and Chief Ladiga in Alabama (link)
are really the same trail, the longest in the nation. The links above will get you started.

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Old 04-18-12, 06:33 AM   #16
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Tom,
Your link for the Silver Comet Trail leads to a South African Bank page. You may want to fix that one. Thanks for the link to the Chief Ladiga trail, I'll mark it for reference this summer.

Bill
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Old 04-18-12, 11:19 AM   #17
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Tom,
Your link for the Silver Comet Trail leads to a South African Bank page. You may want to fix that one. Thanks for the link to the Chief Ladiga trail, I'll mark it for reference this summer.

Bill
fixed it, thanks

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Old 04-18-12, 12:32 PM   #18
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http://www.traillink.com/trail/silver-comet-trail.aspx
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Old 04-18-12, 03:09 PM   #19
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It looks like the trail is made up of bike paths along old rail tracks and connected by regular paved roads. It also looks like the trail travels through neighborhoods and parts of towns. If this is the case, is there any problems with dogs and the typical road hazards associated with riding on the country roads?

I like riding with no traffic and no dogs. So if there are sections of the trail that go through the woods away from civilization this would be the sections that I would like to ride. Did you notice any of this type of riding along the trail?
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Old 04-18-12, 03:37 PM   #20
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It looks like the trail is made up of bike paths along old rail tracks and connected by regular paved roads. It also looks like the trail travels through neighborhoods and parts of towns. If this is the case, is there any problems with dogs and the typical road hazards associated with riding on the country roads?

I like riding with no traffic and no dogs. So if there are sections of the trail that go through the woods away from civilization this would be the sections that I would like to ride. Did you notice any of this type of riding along the trail?
There are no "regular roads" other than crossings anywhere along the trail. Of the close to 100 mile length of the combined Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga, I've ridden most of it and and virtually all of that is "through the woods away from civilization". You do go through the occasional town but still on the dedicated trail. No neighborhoods at all and the only dogs I've seen were on a leash with people on the trail.

Here are a couple of pictures from close to the Atlanta side, they are representative of the trail.







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