On the Silver Comet Trail
ITI: Touring Cobb County
It’s true. You can walk from Cobb County right to the Alabama state line on the Silver Comet Trail. This 61.5-mile paved trail was converted from the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which whisked passengers to and from New York on a gleaming luxury passenger train for which the trail was later named: the Silver Comet.
The line operated from 1947 to 1969, after which it sat defunct until 1992, when the Georgia Department of Transportation bought it in hopes of converting it into a non-motorized trail. The converted trail opened to the public in 1998 and walkers, bikers, hikers, skaters, and even horseback riders have been enjoying it since. The trail is paved, 12-feet wide, and mostly level, making it accessible to and great for wheelchair users.
Though the old tracks are no longer visible, remnants of the railroad remain. Check out the 100-foot high, 700-foot long Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle at mile marker 23 and the Brushy Mountain Tunnel, which is also 700-feet long, at marker 38. In addition to the railroad-related sites, trail users have access to 15 restrooms, 10 fountains, and many opportunities to access trailside services while on the Silver Comet.
Access the trail from the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna, 13 miles northwest of Atlanta. From there, you can trek as long as you like, first through residential sections and later through a landscape of pine stands and farmland. If you’re up to walk or bike the entire 61.5 miles of the trail, you’ll end up in Esom, right by the Alabama state line. Trail users who make it that far can reward themselves with a visit to the restored train depot in Cedartown, which now serves as a historical museum and an ode to the days of train travel. Admission is free, and the museum is family-friendly.
The trail runs through three Georgia counties, each of which manages its section independently. To learn more about the Silver Comet Trail and find easy links to local country websites about current safety precautions and other access points, visit SilverCometGA.com.