A nice Rails to Trails path, wide and made of concrete. In the Rockmart area the trail diverts from the rail bed and snaked through the town along the river and some industrial area where it is hilly but not impossible steep. Much of the trail is shaded and if you go east far enough enjoy the coolness of the tunnel.
A Rails to Trails project that is great for the biker. Concrete the entire way and no greater than a five degree grade, is perfect for biking. Well maintained and heavier traffic as one gets closer to Atlanta, it is connected to the Chief Ladiga trail that continues into Alabama for another 30 mile.
J M. on Silver Comet Trail
We just had a very bad experience today our first time on this trail. My 10-year-old son and I decided to try this trail out today for the first time. We parked at the Van Wert Trailhead and started biking NW. We came to a flooded area within maybe 10 minutes as there had been heavy rain this morning. We decided to head back the other direction instead of riding through the water and getting all wet and dirty. As we headed back, two large dogs- they looked like mastiffs and they were both a brindle color, male and female, barked at us from a berm that went up from the trail to our left. We ignored them and kept riding, talking as we rode, and the dogs kept barking and growling- I heard crunching and snapping as they made their way down the slope of the berm to the trail and I realized they were coming after us. I hoped maybe they would stop at the trail and bark or get distracted by a squirrel and forget about us, but they kept coming and I kept looking back. Then they broke through the last of the brush and were at a dead run coming toward us. I told my son to GO and we rode as fast as we could as I got my phone out and dialed 911 and held my finger over the call button ready to go. But his bike is smaller and it was a slight incline in the trail back to the trail head. So I told him to keep going ahead of me and I turned around and parked my bike and jumped with my arms wide to look as big as possible and yelled as loud as I could. The dogs slowed down but kept coming. I hit call on my phone. I backed away from the dogs as I yelled at them "back!" and they hesitated every time but still kept coming. These dogs were huge. Each of them probably weighed between 150 and 180 lbs. I was really worried. They were growling at me. They each had collars so they obviously had an owner. I think their yard backs up to the trail. I was hoping the owner would appear and call them off but no luck. The 911 dispatcher finally was able to get my exact location using my phone and she told me to head toward the trail head. By now, the dogs were between me and my bike, and they moved whenever I moved. My keys and wallet were in my bike bag, so I didn't want to leave them. I had to, however, and when I got back to the trailhead, another biker asked me how I was and I told him what was happening. He said he has seen those dogs on the trail many times before, so they live nearby. The police arrived and walked me back to my bike, my son was freaked out, and the dogs had retreated by then, which was maybe 45 minutes from when I left them. Animal control arrived a bit after that. They all advised me to carry mace in the future and mentioned that they get calls frequently about dogs. I have biked and hiked a lot of trails with my family and never have I encountered anything like this. My son and I were debating about bringing our puppy with us and I am so glad we left her at home. The owner of these dogs is irresponsible, putting them in a position where they could get injured or destroyed by allowing them to go after people on the trail. Next time I will definitely have my mace with me. It was really scary, especially for my son. I hope this experience helps anyone who is a newbie to the area like us. Bring your mace, and maybe a stick or something to protect yourself.