The web site for The Silver Comet Trail describes it this way: Imagine gliding along on your bike through the north Georgia countryside, crossing a 500-foot-long trestle over a rushing river below, winding between rock cliffs and weaving among tall stately pines. Imagine doing this without having to worry about cars and trucks. Now imagine doing this for 60 miles on one trail! No, that’s not a dream, it’s the Silver Comet Trail.
Actually since this information was written, a new section was completed,making the trail a full 101 miles long! Not only do you go over impossibly high trestles and between rock cliffs…you even get to go through a tunnel or two. The Silver Comet is truly one of my most favorite places, so much so, I’ve even considered moving so I could be a bit closer.
The trail, which runs through 3 counties, was constructed on an abandoned railway, a railway where a train by the name of The Silver Comet ran for many, many years. It’s great for jogging, rollerblading, doggie walking, horseback riding and biking. I’ve ridden every inch of it, well, except for the most recently finished section, and I’m itching to ride that! For one full year, I rode it 3-4 days a week after work, biking 22 miles round trip each time. On weekends, I sometimes rode 35-40 miles in a day with a biking friend. Unfortunately, a dear lady named Jennifer Ewing was attacked and killed a couple of years ago while riding alone in the very heart of the section I always rode…so I gave up riding alone after that. Consequently, that means I rarely get to ride on the trail now. 🙁
On Sunday, a friend of mine was in town and we decided to hit the trail. I’m pretty out of shape these days…blogging just doesn’t do much for the leg muscles…but we still managed to get in a 14-15 mile ride. Don’t be too impressed, the trail is relatively flat with less than a 2% grade in some areas. That is one of the reasons I love it so much…you can go for miles and miles enjoying the gorgeous scenery before you have to turn around and head back. Since the trail is one of my favorite, favorite places in this crazy world, I thought I’d share some pics from that day.
Welcome to a little piece of paradise called The Silver Comet Trail!
As you bike The Silver Comet, this is your usual view…trees, lots and lots of beautiful trees…
Tunnels, bridges and blue skies…
Our first pass over the bridge…no train.
Yep, no train.
Today we started around the 11th mile marker and rode well beyond the 18th…then turned around and headed back due to time constraints.
You may even ride your horse out here…just no motorized vehicles. This sign was right before a bridge.
As we headed back and we were just coming up on the bridge, my friend asked, “Do you hear that?” I raced onto the bridge, dove off my bike, ran over to the edge and just managed to snap a picture as the train approached the bridge.
I have this thing about trains. I’m one of those crazy folks who actually gets a thrill out of having to sit in my car at the crossroads and watch the train go by…they are just soooo powerful! I wish my blog had rumblevision so you could FEEL and HEAR this train going by underneath!
There it goes…that was cool!
With our hearts still pounding from the excitement of being on the bridge while the train went underneath, we got another little thrill a short distance down the path. I swerved to miss this guy but my friend never even saw him. Fortunately, he didn’t run over him…just missed him by inches. I like snakes…they eat rats and stuff…that’s a good thing! When I was growing up my best friend’s brother always had a pet snake. I loved holding them and feeling the coolness as they wrapped around my arm. Ok, I’ll stop with the snake…but I thought this guy was pretty neat slithering across the bike path. You will often see other critters like bunny rabbits and deer while biking, too!
Ahhhh, more gorgeous trail…what a fantastic day!
You see little signs like these along the trail.
Some areas are heavily shaded and very cool, while others are completely open and sunny.
If you start out around the 11th mile marker, you only have to cross one or two busy roads. After that, the roads you pass aren’t that well traveled, so you hardly even have to slow down.
Another one of the more heavily wooded sections…the path feels almost fairytale-like, at times.
I love the wildflowers that grow along some areas.
Every so often, you come across a place to sit and rest. They have ‘Stella de Oro’ daylilies planted at many of the rest stops.
We didn’t have time to ride all the way out to the Pumpkinvine Trestle. (photo from http://www.silvercometga.com/index.shtml)
Nor, did we make it all the way out to Coots Lake…a great place for a picnic! (photo from http://www.silvercometga.com/index.shtml)
And we didn’t go through Brushy Mountain Tunnel on this trip (photo from http://www.silvercometga.com/index.shtml)
But there’s always next time. Thanks for coming along for the ride