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Old 01-28-16, 06:07 PM   #1
jonc123 
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Anyone rode Chief Ladiga Trail/Silver Comet Trail AL/GA?

Looking for opinions on the ~100 mile paved Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet in Alabama/Georgia...

Might head that way for a trip in 2016, probably only have about 9 days max time off, with driving eating up about 3-4 days of that. Probably do an out and back at about 50 miles per day. Never been down that way, the Eastern end is not too far from Atlanta and it runs West from there.

Looks like it would be two great trails to mix into a cross country adventure also.

Chief Ladiga Trail | Alabama Trails | TrailLink.com

Silver Comet Trail | Georgia Trails | TrailLink.com

Just wondering if anyone has ridden these.
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Old 01-28-16, 06:15 PM   #2
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I just tried a search on CGOAB for only "Silver Comet Trail" and it came up with 369 journals.

Link to search.
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Old 01-28-16, 08:15 PM   #3
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I just tried a search on CGOAB for only "Silver Comet Trail" and it came up with 369 journals.

Link to search.
I should have checked there...didn't think to look. Thanks!
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Old 01-29-16, 02:32 AM   #4
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A friend and I rode most of it 2012. Here's an album with some images from the trip:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1136055...aTrailBikeTour

Let me know if you have any questions about that trip.
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Old 01-29-16, 07:33 AM   #5
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A friend and I rode most of it 2012. Here's an album with some images from the trip:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1136055...aTrailBikeTour

Let me know if you have any questions about that trip.
Not too many questions...don't want to feel like I rode it already on the internet!

I'e read a little bit about it, mostly interested in camping options, but it looks like quite a few places to camp. Which end looks better to park at and leave a vehicle overnight? Wife and I will be doing the whole trail, out and back.

I was leaning towards parking at the Western end, are any of the campgrounds at the far Eastern end?

Might be able to do the trail sometime between the middle of May and the middle of June. Might be warm.

Thanks, the pics look great...looks like they really keep the trail up nice (looks like they just mowed it in several of the pictures), probably gets crowded in spots but that's OK, better than being at work!

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-16, 09:58 AM   #6
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I'e read a little bit about it, mostly interested in camping options, but it looks like quite a few places to camp. Which end looks better to park at and leave a vehicle overnight? Wife and I will be doing the whole trail, out and back.

I was leaning towards parking at the Western end, are any of the campgrounds at the far Eastern end?

Might be able to do the trail sometime between the middle of May and the middle of June. Might be warm.
I have not checked, but I doubt many camping options on eastern end since that is Atlanta metro area.

Also, I don't recall seeing many camping spots overall so I do recommend studying that option carefully. If you plan to stop at either end, you may need to find a motel.
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Old 01-29-16, 10:34 AM   #7
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You can view the route or get a GPX file from my site bikegpx.us (no registration, no advertising, totally free)

to view:
  • select group --> Southern
  • select select route --> Chief Ladiga or Silver Comet

to see satellite view:
  • click satellite on left-middle of screen

to download:
  • click view GPX
  • click download
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Old 01-29-16, 12:39 PM   #8
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Not an expert, as I've only touched a few parts of it myself. But:

You'd be stealth camping at the Atlanta end. Not sure how often local LEOs patrol after dark; I think it's supposed to be closed at night.

IIRC Jacksonville has a couple of motels within a few blocks of the Chief Ladiga end. There's some a mile or so off the trail in Rockmart. I don't remember any motels or restaurants very close to the eastern end.

While most (all?) of the trail is paved in Georgia, it's finely crushed stone for long stretches in Alabama. I wouldn't try it on 20s, 28 or bigger should be OK.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:43 PM   #9
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AFAIK there is only one official campsite near Coots lake/Cedartown, the so-called Camp Comet. Tent camping, no privy, no water. It is recommended that you not camp alone. There are public campgrounds located near the trail in a couple other locations.

Unless something has changed since I last looked, there is also a curfew on the SC trail - no riding after dark. Since the SC trail is basically a road it is patrolled by regular LE motor vehicles - probably your greatest risk would be getting hit by a Deputy not expecting to find anyone on the trail after dark.
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Old 01-29-16, 02:38 PM   #10
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pdlamb and seeker33 - I believe your info is out of date. My understanding is the Ladiga Trail in Alabama is paved all the way from the Georgia state line to Anniston and no longer uses public roads.

Chief Ladiga Trail - Alabama

mike
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Old 01-29-16, 03:27 PM   #11
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pdlamb and seeker33 - I believe your info is out of date. My understanding is the Ladiga Trail in Alabama is paved all the way from the Georgia state line to Anniston and no longer uses public roads.

Chief Ladiga Trail - Alabama

mike
Everything I have read is that both trails are 100% paved.
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Old 01-29-16, 03:49 PM   #12
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Here is what I have so far, I don't do motels, hotels, etc. I like to tent camp.

I hope you can understand my chicken scratch below...it only has to be good enough for me...this is from East to West. I think I have changed my mind and will park at the Eastern end and head West.

This is basically a list of camping/campground areas I have found, in order from East to West (mostly cut and paste from different internet sources). I have not verified any of the info so if anyone decides to use it, be warned and give them a call first. Here is what I have found:


*******************Silver Comet Trail 61.5 Miles******************************


The Mavell Road Trailhead is the start of the Silver Comet Trail at mile marker 0 on the Smyrna side.


Paulding Wildlife Management Area (+-4 miles from Coots Lake Trailhead Mile Marker 33.5)
The Silver Comet Trail goes through the middle of the Paulding WMA. Primitive camping is
allowed in the WMA. 4 mile(s) from Coot’s Lake trailhead
2600 US Highway 278
Dallas GA


The Rock Campground (Mile Marker 36)
This is a commercial campground, primarily for RVs and
Campers. Tenting is allowed also. Fees are charged for camping.
1.50 mile(s) from Van Wert trailhead (which is 36 mile marker)


Camp Comet (Mile Marker 44.5)
Camp Comet is a primitive camping area near the Don Williams Trailhead.
It has approximately 8 developed campsites with pads, grills and fire rings.
There is no water at the site, but a couple of open creeks about 1/4 mile
East of the Trailhead. Water from open sources must be treated.
Anything packed in should be packed out, including trash.
This is a remote area and camping alone is not recommended.
There is no charge to camp in this area.
0.10 mile(s) from Don Williams trailhead


State line 61.5 mile marker, end of the Silver Comet Trail



******************Chief Ladiga Trail 33 Miles**********************


Starts at the State Line Mile Marker 0


Chief Ladiga Trail Campground-between Cedartown and Piedmont at Mile Marker 7
3180 County Road 94
Borden Springs, AL 36272


Pinhoti National Recreation Trail is in Talladega national forest and
is just past the Chief Ladiga Trail campground, possible camping.
It crosses the Silver Commet.


Piedmont Civic Center about Mile marker 15
500 Mill Street
Piedmont, AL 36272
They do allow camping, but would like you to call first.


End is at the trailhead South of Weaver on Weaver Road at Hollyfarm Rd. Near Anniston.

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Old 01-29-16, 04:42 PM   #13
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There's good stealth camping 1-2 miles east of the Brushy Mountain Tunnel. There's easy access on a forest service road. It looks like you can't easily get into the woods because the trail is passing thru long sections that were cut into the mountain. So the earth goes up steeply on each side. But there's a couple spots where forest roads leave the trail - the road barely leaves the trail on the south side and then parallels the trail. Easy access is found to sites that are hidden you can roll to.

That's a great place to spend the night, an easy day from Atlanta.
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Old 01-29-16, 07:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
A friend and I rode most of it 2012. Here's an album with some images from the trip:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1136055...aTrailBikeTour

Let me know if you have any questions about that trip.
Did you drive to Marvell Road trailhead and leave a car parked there?
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Old 01-29-16, 09:51 PM   #15
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I'm a Warmshowers host south of the trail in West Georgia. But, still 32-40 mile south of the trail in Cedartown-----route depending on your comfort level riding on 4 lane US27 highway.

That would add another day to the trip. You could leave your car with me, safe and secure....if I can find a truck to get you to the Atlanta end. Then it would be a 1.5 ride of the trail.
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Old 01-29-16, 10:15 PM   #16
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Did you drive to Marvell Road trailhead and leave a car parked there?
Yes
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Old 01-31-16, 08:09 PM   #17
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There's good stealth camping 1-2 miles east of the Brushy Mountain Tunnel. There's easy access on a forest service road. It looks like you can't easily get into the woods because the trail is passing thru long sections that were cut into the mountain. So the earth goes up steeply on each side. But there's a couple spots where forest roads leave the trail - the road barely leaves the trail on the south side and then parallels the trail. Easy access is found to sites that are hidden you can roll to.

That's a great place to spend the night, an easy day from Atlanta.
Thanks, I've made a note about that, exactly what we like to do.

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Old 01-31-16, 08:18 PM   #18
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I'm a Warmshowers host south of the trail in West Georgia. But, still 32-40 mile south of the trail in Cedartown-----route depending on your comfort level riding on 4 lane US27 highway.

That would add another day to the trip. You could leave your car with me, safe and secure....if I can find a truck to get you to the Atlanta end. Then it would be a 1.5 ride of the trail.
I appreciate that, but I don't mind leaving the truck at the East end. I've been really lucky in my lifetime and left vehicles parked in some bad places, mostly on backpacking trips. I'm overdue for a break-in, which is fine with me. Just don't tear it up so bad that I can't get home. We will have most of our gear with us, they can have what little I leave in it.

I'm going to make a couple calls first to check on the overnight parking on the East end, don't want to make a mistake and get towed.

Just a general question for you or anyone, I read somewhere that they have a hill on one of the trails that folks are wiping out at the bottom of it on a sharp curve, does that ring a bell? I can't remember where I found that at.
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Old 01-31-16, 10:49 PM   #19
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I've been really lucky in my lifetime and left vehicles parked in some bad places, mostly on backpacking trips. I'm overdue for a break-in, which is fine with me. Just don't tear it up so bad that I can't get home. We will have most of our gear with us, they can have what little I leave in it.
Leaving little in the ride is the way to go. The, well versed, thieves in the Atlanta area will get in and will take anything loose.

I worked in a German Car repair shop during the 1980's oil boom in Oklahoma. I kept Porsche 911 door glass on the shelf because of thieves breaking the window to steal the radar detector (usually and Escort, back then). I figured it out......when I left the car I took the Escort off the windshield and stuffed it under the seat. Then I left the doors unlocked. Never had to buy a window. Locking the doors does nothing but add to the cost (door glass) of your loss.

There is a large Petro Travel Center (truck stop) on I285 at exit 12. Just south of the east end of the trail. They have car parking all over the place, a lot of it well off the street at the fuel island, scales and truck wash for employees. You might inquire there.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:46 AM   #20
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Just a general question for you or anyone, I read somewhere that they have a hill on one of the trails that folks are wiping out at the bottom of it on a sharp curve, does that ring a bell? I can't remember where I found that at.
I haven't heard about that, but there is a short but steep pitch as you come into Rockmart from the Alabama side. It has a a sharp turn at the bottom. You are riding alongside the highway, and then plunge down into the the trees. Sometimes there is moisture on the trail. Maybe this is the place you are refering too.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:57 AM   #21
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Just a general question for you or anyone, I read somewhere that they have a hill on one of the trails that folks are wiping out at the bottom of it on a sharp curve, does that ring a bell? I can't remember where I found that at.

Most likely it is this spot (Google street view):

https://goo.gl/maps/oqszaQnaMs12

I think this portion begins/ends with the steepest incline/decline along the trail.
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Old 06-05-16, 07:22 PM   #22
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Well, wife and I finally did this ride. It was hot and humid but we did OK. Started at the Eastern end, parked a rental van at the Silver Comet Depot Trailhead (you need a permit from the county for overnight parking there) that has the bike shop. Camped at The Rock Campground, Piedmont Civic Center/ballfields and one night at the Solid Rock Cafe (they have one room above the cafe).

Thanks for all of the help, this is a great trail and we had a fun time.






























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Old 06-05-16, 07:27 PM   #23
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On the way back home, we stopped at Nashville, TN. and checked out some sights. We stayed a couple days at an RV park just North of Nashville and did some riding, about 30 miles or so.











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Old 06-07-16, 11:01 AM   #24
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Well, wife and I finally did this ride. It was hot and humid but we did OK. Started at the Eastern end, parked a rental van at the Silver Comet Depot Trailhead (you need a permit from the county for overnight parking there) that has the bike shop. Camped at The Rock Campground, Piedmont Civic Center/ballfields and one night at the Solid Rock Cafe (they have one room above the cafe).

Thanks for all of the help, this is a great trail and we had a fun time.
Thanks for the follow-up post.

How did you get back to your departure point - rental van? I looked for a shuttle service between Piedmont and Mapleton before and found nothing.
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Old 06-07-16, 05:19 PM   #25
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Thanks for the follow-up post.

How did you get back to your departure point - rental van? I looked for a shuttle service between Piedmont and Mapleton before and found nothing.
Our pickup truck decided to have electrical problems at the last moment before the trip. We called Enterprise and reserved a regular van for the next day. Next day came and no regular van in stock, so they gave us the Dodge cargo van (6 speed, front wheel drive) for the same price. It was nice.

We parked the van at the Eastern end of the trail (Silver Comet Depot Trailhead). We missed the first 5 miles of the trail; the county employee at the parks dept. I talked to said they have had problems with break-ins at the trailheads East of where we were parked. He didn't actually say that but I read between the lines some.

We did an out and back of the trail, 250 miles total over 5 days. It was a nice trail. Didn't mind riding it twice; the second time you know where all the good stuff is at...and the good food!
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