One of the most popular running trails in Atlanta is the Silver Comet trail. The Silver Comet Trail is over 61 miles long, and starts near Mavell Road in Smyrna, Georgia. It ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line, near Cedartown and Esom. At the Georgia/Alabama state line, the Silver Comet connects to an additional 33-mile long trail in Alabama called the Chief Ladiga Trail.
The Silver Comet Trail was built over an abandoned rail line in northwest Georgia and is named after the Silver Comet passenger train. It was introduced by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1947. During the height of rail travel, the trains consisted of sleek passenger, sleeper, dining, and observation cars. People could connect to other rail lines; therefore, they were able to travel to to big cities in the north, and tour areas in Florida. As the rail industry declined in the late 80s, the Georgia DOT bought the rail line and in 1998, began construction on the Silver Comet trail as part of Georgia’s “rails-to-trails” project.
On a nice Saturday, you will see hundreds of people out here, running, walking, biking and blading. The trail is clearly marked and as flat as a pancake. The map above is of the first 11.5 miles of the trail. You can go as long as you like. As I run this trail, I like to imagine what it was like in the 40s and 50s to travel on the train and view the beautiful scenery. It’s nice to see the undeveloped parts around the city. Every time I turn around to go back, I wish that I could keep going. One day, I will run the full trail and somehow carry gear to sleep or stay in nearby hotels – if I plan the trip correctly…
The only minor drawback to this trail is the fact that the asphalt is sloped to handle run-off. I know this may sound “nit-picky”, but because you are running on the right side, your left leg is always higher than your right. There are some parts of the trail that slope in one direction or the other, but I always end up with joint and shin pains on this trail when I run any amount of distance.
Below you will find just one of the many “official” trail maps for the Silver Comet trail:
This PDF shows the Cobb County section of the trail in great detail: Cobb County Silver Comet Trail Map
If you have run this trail, I would love to hear your experiences. Drop me a line…
|Length:||61.5 Miles – Even more in Alabama|
|Facilities:||At each trail head|
|Water Fountains:||At each trail head|
|Directions:||Begins at:4573 Mavell Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30082