Twenty years ago a trio of cycling enthusiasts had a vision for a network of bike trails around the Atlanta area. What began as a dream to provide Georgians with off-road trails to promote a healthy lifestyle has now developed into the longest paved bike trail in the U.S. Located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, the Silver Comet bike trail travels west through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties for 62 miles. At the Georgia/Alabama border it connects with the Chief Ladiga Trail for another 33 miles, making for nearly 100 miles of car-free cycling serenity. Along with other trails in the Atlanta area, the Silver Comet Trail is maintained by the PATH Foundation, an organization dedicated to building a network of scenic greenways throughout the state of Georgia.
The Silver Comet Trail was built on the abandoned rail bed of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad which provided luxury passenger service between New York and Birmingham from 1947 to 1969. The name of that train was the Silver Comet. Cyclists can experience relics of the rail period including 3 trestles, a rail tunnel, and 2 train depots.
There are plenty of side trips to make along the trail including a stop at the Concord Covered Bridge (the only remaining covered bridge in the Atlanta area), a visit to the remains of a woolen mill, excursions to the proverbial charming town, and even single track mountain bike trails that jut off from the main trail. The Chief Ladiga Trail on the Alabama side is built on an abandoned CSX rail corridor and passes through more idyllic towns and scenic landscapes.
There is no fee to use the trail which is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service. The entire bike trail is quite popular so be courteous to other cyclists, pedestrians, and in-line skaters. The crowds do thin out the further west you go from Atlanta. The trail is mostly flat with a few more challenging hills near Rockmart. Plans are in development to connect with other linking trails to provide a continuous line from Atlanta to Birmingham. To plan a trip see BikeSilverComet.com. For more information about this and other trails in the area visit the PATH Foundation.
14 thoughts on “The Longest Paved Bike Trail In The U.S. (100 Miles)”
Flordia is about completed the Coast to Coast trail 250 miles long
Sorry! It’s really the THIRD longest paved trail! Another trail combo in Minnesota also beats this one out and has for years. The Central Lakes / Lake Wobegon Trails is 104 miles long taken together and ours is 100% paved and 100% on old RR ROW.
did you happen to see when this was written?
Check out Pima County’s loop. it’s 113 miles of paved trail and growing!!
Car free bike trails around Boston,MA
Silver Comet is only the second longest! We’ve been keeping track of long bikeways at American Trails: http://www.americantrails.org/resources/info/longest.html
and the current champion is the Paul Bunyan:
Any one know of bike friendly routes from Anniston to Birmingham?
Would love to see something like this start from mobile Al and end up in Birmingham then run to Atlanta Ga
Interested in a trail booklet for information on overnight location and points of interest.
Love this trail, only place I ride, the more people out there the safer I feel.
The longest paved trail is the Paul Bunyan trail in Minnesota at 115 miles long.
That was completed after this article was written. We covered that trail here: https://metaefficient.com/bicycles/carfree-bike-routes-midwest.html
Please send information on the longest trail and off road trails in southern Alabama
I’m interested in finding out more about the longest trails. Can you send me more information or direct me to the different web sites that I can go to. I getting ready to ride my bike the long distance and I need some locations that I can start out with.