Liz and I enjoyed this year’s July 4th holiday by riding our bicycles across a couple of Atlanta’s best outdoor trails. Even amid very hot and humid weather, the majority of our ride was under a canopy of thick trees providing a beautiful and very comfortable place to enjoy the outdoors. Our rides were only a couple of hours each but provided excellent aerobic exercise. We were among many others who were walking, jogging, skating and riding these beautiful trails.
Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway
On Friday, we rode the entire length of the Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway starting at new section off of Marconi Drive (Windward) all the way down into Roswell’s Big Creek park. The entire ride was just over 15 miles round trip and includes several bridges and one rode crossing at Kimball Bridge. The greenway follows the path of Big Creek and winds from the Windward area down past North Point Mall and ends just north of Old Alabama Road. We saw several deer, one of which was kind enough to pose for photos) and lots and lots of people.
This trail winds all around with the path sometimes splitting allowing some side excursions for additional exploring. The trail also offers boardwalk sections including some educational stations that are excellent for watching the local wildlife. Several access points to the trail are available along the entire route with an occasional bench or rest area. There are also “walking only” trails as well as mountain bike trails if you prefer a non-paved and more strenuous ride.
Mountain Bike Trails are designed, built & maintained by volunteers of the RAMBO chapter of SORBA – Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association. These trails are all “Day Directions” with exception of the “Troll Trail and Greenway Connector Trail. These trail exceptions are noted as you enter trails from both sides. There are approximately 4.25 miles of open trails including beginner, intermediate and advanced trails.
The Silver Comet Trail – Cobb County
On the 4’th, we drove over to Cobb County to give the Silver Comet Trail a try. This trail follows the old Seaboard Air Line and as late as 1969, the shiny Silver Comet passenger train provided luxury service between New York and Birmingham. The trail follows this old railway line along a ridge east to west all the way to Anniston, AL. Old trestles and a railroad tunnel provide clues to the trails history. The well-maintained 61.5-mile trail is a 12-foot wide paved path and has many mile markers to help navigate the trail.
We started at the most eastern end which is located off of Mavell Road in Smyrna, GA. The trail heads west following the East-West connector for a few miles and then crosses over and continues west for about 61 miles! We rode 18.6 miles round trip which took us west to Powder Springs, GA. This section of the trail is the most popular and beautiful due to the huge tree cover canopies, overlook bridges and more. The grade is straight and almost level. This trail can easily be ridden or walked due to the nearly level grade and thick shade providing comfortable temperatures even on the hottest day. Heading west from Mavell Road, you will cross the Silver Comet Trail Bridge, the Concord Road Bridge and the Hurt Road Bridge all offering scenic overlooks below.
About 4.5 miles east of the Mavell access point, the trail crosses Floyd Road where you will find ample parking, the Silver Comet Depot bike shop offering bike rentals and repair, restrooms, snacks and even picnic tables in the shade. There is even a fountain for the kids to get wet (or adults to are kids at heart like myself). This is great place to start if you are new to the trail.