POWDER SPRINGS, GEORGIA
Out and Back
The Silver Comet Century route utilizes the scenic and car-free Silver Comet Trail for most of its length while gently rolling, low traffic Morgan Valley Road eliminates the trail’s one big climb. This could be your first century or your next PR. A variety of trailhead options make this route adaptable to rides of any length.
Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail extends west from the outskirts of Atlanta to the Alabama border. Alabama’s Chief Ladiga trail picks up where the Silver Comet Trail leaves off and together they make up one of the longest contiguous paved trails in the United States. The entire length of both converted rail trails is scenic and for the most part, flat.
The Silver Comet Century route takes full advantage of the “SCT” as locals call it, but avoids the trail’s one big hill, opting instead for gently rolling and low traffic local roads between the cities of Rockmart and Cedartown. With views of the ridge to the south, Morgan Valley Rd passes several horse farms and allows for an extra store stop.
A variety of trailheads allow shorter or longer rides depending on where one cares to start. Started at the Florence Rd. trailhead in Powder Springs, the 750 foot long trestle over Pumpkinvine Creek will be reached at mile 11 (mile marker 23 on the trail) while the 800 foot long tunnel under Brushy Mountain will be reached at mile 19 (mile marker 31 on the trai). These are located between the cities of Dallas and Rockmart on what is undoubtedly the most interesting section of the entire trail.
With good weather you can expect lots of other cyclists on the Silver Comet with a significant reduction in pedestrians west of the city of Dallas. On a cold fall or winter day you may have the Silver Comet Trail all to yourself. The route is as flat as it gets in Northwest Georgia and has even been ridden on fixed-gear bikes.
- A short section of the Silver Comet Trail just west of Cedartown (at miles 42 and 61) uses local residential streets and signage is not always helpful. Use your GPS or if in doubt simply head down one street or the other and you will likely find the trail entrance.
- Plan on self sufficiency to the west of Cedartown.
- Much of the Silver Comet Trail is through dense hardwood forest and shaded. While advantageous for summer riding, it can cause the trail to stay quite wet after significant rain.
- Parking is free at all trailheads.
- Store stops are often a short distance off the trail and not always visible from the trail itself. The stores indicated on the map are the most reliable.
- South Marble Coffee is located in Rockmart, 50 yards away from the turn onto Church Street.
- Mack’s Bakery is located in Rockmart only a short distance from the route. The spicy cheese straws are worth a few extra pedal strokes.
- Convenience stores, fast food restaurants and a supermarket are located one half mile off the route at the intersection of Highway 278 (Jimmy Cambell Parkway) and Highway 61 (Nathan Dean Blvd). Take the spur trail at the Paulding Chamber trailhead at mile 8 westbound and mile 95 on the return leg.