The 34-mile long Chief Ladiga Trail is Alabama’s premier rail-trail. It is located in Cleburne and Calhoun counties, in east-central Alabama. The smooth asphalt surface travels through the Tallegeda National Forest, and connects to Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail to the east (near Cedartown and Esom Hill).
The Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet travel over 95 miles when combined, and form the longest paved trail in America. Both trails are non-motorized and are great for walking, bicycling, rollerblading, hiking and dog walking.
From east to west, Chief Ladiga passes through several cities in Alabama: Piedmont, Jacksonville, Weaver, and Anniston.
Both the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet are:
- Built on abandoned rail lines
- Rail-trail projects
Currently, the Chief Ladiga ends in northern Anniston. Plans are underway to extend the trail an additional 6 miles, where it will end at Anniston’s Amtrak station. Plans are progressing to make the Amtrak station bike friendly; allowing for a return train route to Atlanta, and other cities along the Amtrak line.
Not only will the Amtrak station connect to the Chief Ladiga, the station is a short walk to the mountain biking trails located on Coldwater Mountain.
In 2016 construction resumed on the Chief Ladiga Trail, and an additional mile was paved heading into Anniston.
Courtesy of Silver Comet GA