Chief Ladiga Trail, AL
Starting Point of the Chief Ladiga Trail
At the Georgia-Alabama state line, the Silver Comet Trail ends and the Chief Ladiga Trail begins.
The Chief Ladiga Trail is now paved from the Georgia-Alabama State line all the way to Wood land Park (just north of Anniston, Alabama)
Here is a report from a frequent Chief Ladiga rider:
Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet
As a frequent rider of the Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet, it is a pleasure to announce that the entire trail is now paved between Alabama and Georgia. There is a new rain pavilion and archway at the state line with Welcome plaques coming into each state. The park does need mowing and weed-eating (?volunteers?)
I’ve ridden every inch of both trails for several years, and it is my opinion that the stretch between the state line and Piedmont, AL, is by far the most scenic, least inhabited, has the fewest crossroads, and it criss-crosses Terrapin Creek numerous times over excellent concrete bridges.
Be advised, however, that there are NO STORES on the trail between Cedartown, GA, and Piedmont, AL. One water bottle IS NOT ENOUGH. Carry a hydration pack or small cooler if possible. If you find yourself without water, you can depart the trail at Borden Springs Road and follow the sign toward Borden Springs Church of Christ. Take the dirt road at the fork and the springs will be on the left (approximately 3/4 mile off Chief Ladiga Trail). The water is fresh and drinkable and, currently, residents whose wells have dried up fill jugs for home use. The Welcome Center in Piedmont has a cold water fountain and sells bottled water. There is also a grocery store beside the trail just past the Welcome Center.
The Rock Solid Cafe/CoffeeHouse in Piedmont has excellent food and coffee. The Cafe at the Civic Center is also a great lunch spot (beside the old cotton mill which is visible from the trail near the welcome center).
Alabama State Line to Piedmont, Alabama (8.5 miles)
The Chief Ladiga Trail is actually a continuation of the Silver Comet Trail from Georgia.
From the Georgia – Alabama state border, it is very scenic as it passed through the mountains of East Alabama.
Piedmont to Germania Springs Park (10.0 miles)
Piedmont is home to the Eubanks Welcome Center for the Chief Ladiga Trail. Be sure to stop there and see the artifacts and displays there. It is operated by volunteers and may not be open during the week.
Side Trip: For restaurants, turn right on Dailey Street and go to Ladiga Street. The Café restaurant is two blocks on the right. If you go left, go three blocks to North Main Street and turn right. Travel about ½ mile to US Highway 278, with many fast food and other restaurants.
The Trail continues West from Piedmont to Germania Springs county park.
Germania Springs to Jacksonville State University (2 miles)
Germania Springs is a pleasant park to picnic or take a break. There are no restaurants or amenities in the area.
From Germania, travel 2 miles to the trailhead at Jacksonville State University. This is a small trailhead with parking for 4 vehicles, including handicapped.
Side Trip: From the Trailhead at Highway 204 and travel approximately ¼ mile to Highway 21. At that point, you are right in the middle of Jacksonville State University, visit or sightsee. If you turn right on Highway 21, there are many fast food and other restaurants ½ mile further. Be sure to see the downtown square in Jacksonville, at about 2/3 mile from Highway 204/Highway 21 intersection. There is a bike shop, as well as a book store, restaurants and other shopping.
Jacksonville State University to Jacksonville High School (2.6 miles)
This section goes through some sections of Jacksonville, Alabama to the access to the high school.
Jacksonville High School to Elwell Park (3.5 miles)
Elwell Park is a County Park and another pleasant place to stop. It has a jogging/exercise trail and is located in the town of Weaver.
Elwell Park to Woodland Park (.8 miles).
This is the current end of the Chief Ladiga Trail. The town is the home of Dr. Michael Tucker, a local physician who was killed by a drunk driver, while riding his bike in Calhoun County; there is a marker tribute to him at the Trailhead. This area, Woodland Park, is named after a major time period in geographical development, called the Woodland period. The area is also noted for its impressive soccer facilities.
Side Trip: From Woodland Park, turn right on Weaver Road, and travel approximately 1 mile, where it intersects with Highway 21. At that point, there are several motels and fast food and other restaurants.