Enjoy Soaring Views and Scenic Vistas Along Your Bike Journey On These Historic Silver Comet Trail Trestles

DeanLand

If you're looking for great exercise and some unique views, West Georgia's Silver Comet Trail should be on your to-do list.

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Two historic train trestles built before 1910 are separated by approximately 20 miles along the Silver Comet Trail in west Georgia.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Two of the trail's most prominent historic railroad remnants and scenic features are separated by less than 20 miles in Georgia's rolling hills. Giant trestles bridge small creeks that posed huge problems for the original railroad builders. While the rest of the original railroad path was cut through hillsides and maintains a maximum 2-percent grade, route planners needed these towering, sturdy trestles to span the creek canyon floors far below.

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Vines climb the tall steel girders of the Pumpkinvine Creek trestle, which towers 126 feet above the creek below.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

The tallest of the historic trestles spans Pumpkinvine Creek in Paulding county near Dallas, GA. This 1901 steel trestle rises 126 feet and stretches 750 feet across Pumpkinvine Creek in Paulding County. It was restored in 1999.

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Pumpkinvine Creek meanders far below the Pumpkinvine Creek Trestle, restored in 1999.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Closer in to Atlanta, the Concord Road Trailhead at mile 2.6 on the trail is a short walk to Nickajack Creek. Here, another long, high-elevation train trestle offers views of the creek valley far below. A deck plate girder bridge built in 1907, the bridge spans just over 300 feet across the creek and historic Covered Bridge Road.

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Nickajack Creek and Covered Bridge Road pass under this trestle, located near Smyrna.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Stretching over 60 miles from Smyrna, GA, to the Alabama/Georgia State line, the Silver Comet Trail is a multi-use rail trail. The first section opened in 1998. The close-in confines along the former rail route allows trees to create long canopied sections, making this a favorite ride, run or walk for area residents and others who venture here to travel the trail.

We've ridden the trail over the two trestles on separate trips. On a day when the temperature never reached our total mileage, we rode over the Nickajack trestle on a 42 mile roundtrip from the Tara Drummond trailhead in Dallas to Mile Zero just beyond the Mavel Road trailhead in Smyrna. We've ridden over the Pumpkinvine Trestle multiple times, with our longest a metric century roundtrip from Powder Spring to beyond Rockmart.

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Pictured from the adjacent neighborhood below, a light fog partially shrouds the Pumpkinvine Creek trestle on an early August morning.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

When combined with the connecting Chief Ladiga trail which continues into Alabama, the Silver Comet Trail is the second-longest, continuous, paved trail in the United States at 94 miles. It was recently surpassed as the longest in the country by the Paul Bunyan trail, running from Brainerd, Minnesota to Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji — a total of 112 paved miles, according to AmericanTrails.org.

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I'm a trained journalist, global traveler and retired business executive who worked for more than 20 years with some of the world's best and largest restaurant enterprises. I left the business world behind, living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, OurTravelCafe.com. There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA
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