Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta: top places to bike and run in Atlanta, GA

Silver Comet Trail

Run or cycle the Silver Comet Trail in metro Atlanta. Flat, fast, paved and scenic, the Silver Comet's first 20 miles make a great venue for a distraction-free, long-range run or bike ride.

trail info

1-40+ miles
(round trip)
paved
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:in metro Atlanta, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes, Canon 6D Camera

No cars. Few hills. And mile after blissful mile of paved, smooth trail that just begs for a long-distance workout.

The Silver Comet Trail is one of Georgia’s top trails for running, walking, cycling, or skating. It’s an epic-length, 61.5-mile trail that spans from the Atlanta suburbs in Smyrna to the Alabama border. The rail-trail follows the former corridor of the Silver Comet, an upscale passenger railway that ran through this scenic swath of Georgia landscape in the midcentury 1900s.

Silver Comet Trail: bike or run this 60+ mile paved trail in metro Atlanta, Georgia, a former railway corridor

Today, the smooth, paved trail follows a nearly level grade, thanks to the railway’s deep-cut channels, towering train trestles and shallow tunnels. Hills on the Silver Comet Trail are gradual, and the trail runs nearly straight, following a beeline direction with gentle curves. Limited street crossings make for a great, distraction-free, long-distance run or cycle on the trail. And the sights are scenic, ranging from heavily-wooded forest to grassy farmland to suburban neighborhoods.

Top places to run and bike in Atlanta: the Silver Comet Trail crosses towering train trestles and catches beautiful views on over 60 miles of trail

The trail’s first twenty miles are one of our favorite cycling trips in metro Atlanta: it’s a great, go-as-far-as-you-want, level ride. But with plentiful trailheads and unlimited turnaround points, it’s easy to customize a run or ride to any distance, short or epic.

The Silver Comet Trail: the first twenty miles

MILE 0 The Silver Comet Trail’s official start lies at the Mavell Road Trailhead, mile 0. The asphalt-paved trail runs westbound, winding through a young forest and passing the Fontaine Road Trailhead at mile 1.2. It crosses a large metal bridge spanning the East-West Connector at mile 2.3.

The trail dives through a shady stretch of forest, tunneling between two rocky, steep-sided banks before reaching the Concord Road Trailhead at mile 2.6. The trail crosses Nickajack Creek over a long, high-elevation train trestle, catching views of the creek valley far below. This is one of the longest stretches of the metro-area Silver Comet Trail without road crossings, so it’s often crowded, and ultra-popular with runners.

Bike or run the Silver Comet Trail in metro Atlanta. It's paved, flat, and ultra-scenic.

MILE 4.15 Just after passing the trail’s first road crossing (Hicks Road, mile 3.7), the trail reaches the Floyd Road Trailhead at mile 4.15. Floyd Road is a popular alternate starting point for cyclists and runners, and it’s home to Silver Comet Cycles, a bike shop that offers bike repair, gear, rentals, and refreshments.

Rent a bike and ride the 60-mile Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta, one of Georgia's most beautiful paved long-distance trails

Continuing eastbound, the Silver Comet trails through kudzu-covered fields, crossing the Olley Creek Bridge at 6.6 miles. The trail crosses the Noses Creek Bridge at 8.5 miles, just before reaching the Carter Road Trailhead.

MILE 8.7 The trail passes the Carter Road Trailhead at mile 8.7 and then dives through a short concrete tunnel at 9.35 miles. A side trail leads to the Sailors Parkway Trailhead at 9.5 miles, offering restrooms, water and concessions. The trail climbs over a large metal bridge at 10.4 miles, crossing Old Lost Mountain Road. The Silver Comet makes a short, moderately steep climb at 11.1 miles, crossing Atlanta Highway by an elevated bridge.

MILE 11.4 The Silver Comet Trail reaches the Florence Road Trailhead at 11.4 miles. Boneshaker Bicycles (bike gear, rentals and service) is on trail right, opposite the Florence Road trailhead.

The trail crosses Powder Springs Creek at 12.1 miles before diving through a steep-walled channel of rock at 13.3 miles. Just after crossing an engraved granite Silver Comet Trail sign, the trail dips through a short concrete tunnel.

Run or bike the Silver Comet Trail, a 60-mile former rail trail from Atlanta to Alabama

MILE 14.6 The trail reaches the Hiram Trailhead at mile 14.6, passing a railroad car on trail right. The Silver Comet trails through a scenic, elevated, tree-lined stretch before crossing Mill Creek and a rail line over a tall bridge at 16.9 miles. The trail passes the Paulding Trailhead at mile 19.4, just before reaching the Dallas Trailhead at mile 20.2, the site of Tara Drummond Memorial Park.

Bike the Silver Comet in metro Atlanta, a 20-mile ride from the Mavell Road trailhead to Tara Drummond Memorial Park in Dallas, Georgia

MILE 20.2 Tara Drummond Memorial Park and the Dallas Trailhead marks the turnaround point of our favorite 40.4 mile roundtrip on the Silver Comet Trail near Atlanta. From here, the ride turns to retrace the trail back to the Mavell Road Trailhead, following the outbound ride in reverse.

Water availability & trail etiquette

Water is sporadically available along this section of the Silver Comet Trail. Pack plenty of water for your ride or run, and don’t count on the drinking fountains being operable at every trailhead.

The trail is ultra-popular, and one of Atlanta’s favorite workout destinations, especially on warm-weather weekends. Cyclists and skaters: remember to yield to runners and walkers, pass to the left, and politely announce yourself when passing (a simple “on your left” works well). Runners and walkers: keep to the right, don’t stop on the trail, and please don’t crowd the trail with large groups. A little courtesy from all trail users makes for a safer, more enjoyable workout for everyone. Follow these tips for good trail etiquette – and have fun out there!

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Silver Comet Trail, Mavell Road Trailhead Map, Directions & Details

Silver Comet Trail, Mavell Road Trailhead Map
Silver Comet Trail, Mavell Road Trailhead Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free parking is available at multiple trailheads along the trail (green points on the map below).

GPS Coordinates

33.841967, -84.518100     //     N33 50.518 W84 31.086

Elevation Profile

Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta: Elevation Profile
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails is an official Leave No Trace partner

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

 
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.