Silver Comet Trail Running

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About

Summary

The ever popular Silver Comet is a 61.5 mile paved trail that begins in Smyrna and extends all the way to the Georgia/Alabama line in Cedartown. The former rail line turned trail is wide, peaceful and well-maintained, complete with clean restroom facilities, drinking water and free parking at the trailhead. This flat stretch of pavement is particularly advantageous, as you can choose to run as long as you like. Due to the seclusion and lack of lighting, the buddy system is recommended for those early morning and evening runs.

Written by

Alexa Lampasona

Distance

61.0 miles

61 total miles of rail-to-trail terrain

Destination Distance From Downtown

7.7 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

30 minutes to as long as you want

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

Silver Comet

Review

Intro

The Silver Comet Trail is built on a former rail line, and named for the luxurious Silver Comet passenger train, which was extremely popular at the height of rail travel.  The beautiful, scenic rail line was converted into the Silver Comet Trail that Smyrna locals know and love today.  This straight, flat 61.5 mile paved multi-use trail begins in Smyrna, and extends all the way to the Georgia/Alabama line, where it meets the Chief Ladiga Trail just across the state line. 

Mile markers line the sides of the trail, making it very easy to keep track of exactly how far you’ve gone. Remember, since this is one straight line, you will have to run back the way you came.  There are occasional water fountains along the trail; however, many do not work, so if it’s a hot day and you plan on running for a while, you may want to bring bottled water with you. You will find many benches to rest on along the way. 

The Silver Comet Trail is very wide, complete with a center line, so you don’t collide with oncoming traffic.  Cyclists use this path too, and while pedestrian traffic has the right of way, it is recommended that runners stay to the far right.  People on this trail are generally very friendly, giving this place a comfortable atmosphere.  You’ll see that good ole' Southern hospitality come out as fellow recreational walkers and runners wave and say hello. The further you trek, the less people you’ll see. The beginning of the trail is by far the busiest.  

What Makes It Great

Save the bridges, the Silver Comet Trail is constantly surrounded by trees and lush vegetation.  During the spring and summer months, you get the illusion of speeding through a thick green tunnel, as did the Silver Comet rail line passengers back in the day.  The trees part at the bridges, providing a cooling breeze; these areas are opportune places to stop for a break.  

Close to mile 2.4, just before the footbridge, you’ll see a trail on your right that leads off into the woods.  If you want to explore a bit, this is a great little offshoot.  Take the trail down to the right, and you will see the Civil War era ruins of the Concord Woolen Mill.  Go a little farther to get down to the small, but scenic Nickajack Creek.

Who is Going to Love It

Besides the beautiful scenery, one of the top reasons this trail so popular with runners is the new & even pavement. It is very forgiving on your joints and feet.  Here you get the best of both running worlds: the smooth pavement of road running, and the seclusion, peacefulness, and scenic views you would experience on a trail run. This trail is parallel to the East-West Connector, so you’ll pass under some bridges every once in a while.  

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The trailhead off Mavell Road offers plenty of free parking, picnic tables, very clean and well-kept bathrooms, water fountains, dog waste bags and an emergency phone.  Please note that due to the seclusion of the trail, and lack of lighting, using the buddy system is strongly advised, especially during the early mornings or evenings

Location

Silver Comet Trail Running

4573 Mavell Rd
Smyrna, GA, 30008
33.842096, -84.517713

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