Big fo­cus re­mains on Sil­ver Comet Trail

The Standard Journal - - REVIEW AND FORECAST - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

Start out from the Sil­ver Comet Trail­head in down­town Rock­mart, and head east­ward from the cov­ered pedes­trian bridge at Se­aborn Jones Park, past Church Street Manor on the op­po­site bank.

Fol­low the twists and turns and find scenic spots to stop and see the creek wind its way to­ward down­town, where benches for pedes­tri­ans wait for some­one to sit, or con­tinue on­ward to Pauld­ing and Cobb coun­ties.

Leave west­ward, and the trail brings vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike right into down­town Cedar­town, and then out­ward again to­ward the Alabama state line, where the Chief Ladiga trail be­gins.

This stretch is the long­est in the trio of coun­ties who built the Sil­ver Comet Trail, tak­ing the old rail line that ran through Cobb, Pauld­ing and Polk coun­ties with some land pur­chases to fill in gaps to pro­vide a 61.5 mile stretch of walk­ing and rid­ing trail that once served as a line from the south all the way to New York.

Now it is a trail that draws vis­i­tors from around the coun­try and world, thou­sands of peo­ple that stop by and see Jeri Purdy on the week­ends at the Sil­ver Comet Trail­head. She said in a stop by the trail­head of­fice that peo­ple have come from all over to walk or ride bi­cy­cles on the trail, even skate­board.

“I keep in touch with peo­ple from all over th­ese days who I’ve met here in Rock­mart who are us­ing the trail,” she said.

Though lo­cal res­i­dents en­joy walk­ing and rid­ing on the trail just as much as vis­i­tors, Purdy said it’s the peo­ple who come to Rock­mart from out of town who bring in big bucks to spend at restau­rants and shops. They even check in with her, and she’ll let Rock­mart Police know to keep an eye on their cars when they pa­trol the area at night.

It is ser­vice like this – and the re­cent in­stal­la­tion of light­ing in down­town Rock­mart that pro­vides ad­di­tional safety fea­ture for trail rid­ers re­turn­ing to their ve­hi­cles late – that keep peo­ple com­ing to ex­plore Polk County and make a stop on the trail, in­stead of con­tin­u­ing their 20-plus mile ride to Alabama.

They’ll soon have more trail to ex­plore and con­nect with Polk County.

Last year of­fi­cials an­nounced plans to grow the trail east­ward to­ward the At­lanta Belt­line trail, along with an ex­ten­sion an­nounced from the west in Gads­den, Alabama to con­nect their down­town area with the Chief Ladiga trail, which ex­tends to the state line with Ge­or­gia.

What makes those ex­ten­sions more use­ful are events like the Chief Ladiga Sil­ver Comet Skate Chal­lenge, set for a 2019 re­turn through the area. The 188 mile long race is com­ing up in late May and brings long rid­ing skate­board­ers from around the world.

/ Kevin Myrick

Vol­un­teers spread out along Euharlee Creek in Rock­mart for the 2018 Rivers Alive cleanup on Satur­day, Sept. 22.

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