Monday, August 17, 2015
Great Trips off the Ladiga Trail
The Chief Ladiga Trail currently runs 32.5 miles from the Alabama/Georgia line into the City of Anniston. The City of Anniston recently acquired more land for the trails extension into downtown Anniston. As Alabama’s first Rails to Trails project, this paved recreational trail follows the former Seaboard/CSX Railroad and connects to Georgia’s 63 mile Silver Comet Trail, making Ladiga part of the longest paved rail trail in the U.S. This recreational opportunity can be enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, skaters, strollers and more. Beautiful sights like area forests, farmlands, streams, and mountains provide picturesque scenery for each and every visit.
Here's some sites to take in as you travel along the trail:
As you enter Piedmont, turn north onto Center Avenue to enjoy downtown Piedmont at its best. Indulge in the ice cream, coffee or smoothies of the Solid Rock Cafe and explore downtown shops. If you stop by Solid Rock, you must try their chicken salad sandwich or Sunday Buffet.
Also, just outside Piedmont, you can stay at the Chief Ladiga Trail Campground and float Terrapin Creek to cool off during the hot Alabama summers.
Near the trails Mile 24, you enter the City of Jacksonville. If you pack a lunch, stop in Germania Springs Park to cool off and rest, or continue to Hwy 21 and head west on 204 about a mile to Cooter Brown's Rib Shack, the best ribs around.
One can also head to Mountain Street toward Highway 21, and try local eats like Cecil's, Roma's, Java Jolt and more shops or stops around Jacksonville's Square.
In Weaver, take a break at Elwell Park, or continue through to Anniston's Mike Tucker Park.
When you reach the Anniston Trailhead, your adventure doesn't have to end. If you are on your road bike, there are several great area climbs and routes. Many cyclists have taken their trek to Anniston's Weaver Road to Highway 21.
Known as one of the toughest climbs in Calhoun County, if you turn left off Weaver Road and take Hwy 21 north, the turn right onto Baltzell Gate Road, you can cycle through Anniston's former Fort McClellan via Berman Road and right onto Bain's Gap Road. Once you reach the Bain's Gap zenith, you can turn around and return to Anniston or continue. Take a left onto Choccolocco, right onto Hwy 9, left onto Hwy 78, left onto Skyway Drive, the foot of Alabama's Highest peak, and climb to Cheaha State Park.
Each spring, cyclists come from all over peddle in for the Cheaha Challenge and Iron Mountain Challenge.
Cyclists have also continued south on Hwy 21 into downtown Anniston, stopped by Wig's Wheels on Noble Street, rented a mountain bike, and explored area mountain bike trails like Coldwater, Iron Legs, and more. There are also plenty of delectable restaurants downtown to fuel up for the next trek.
For more information, visit www.chiefladigatrail.com.
For maps, hotel accommodations, and lists of restaurants, check out www.VisitCalhounCounty.com.