Pedal Atlanta’s best paved cycling trails
Eric Champlin for The AJC
Ready to ride? Pedal these great bike-friendly trails in metro Atlanta over pavement and boardwalk to some seriously scenic sights:
Silver Comet Trail
It’s pretty much Atlanta’s best place to bike if you’re looking for a flat, long distance, scenery packed ride. Bike the Silver Comet Trail on a former rail line that runs more than 60 miles of gentle grade from Smyrna to the Alabama border. You’ll cycle through forest and farmland, between deep cut rock ravines and over towering train trestles with beautiful views. With multiple trailheads along its stretch, easily customize your ride’s length: cycle a short, family friendly trip or plan a multiday, 100-plus mile adventure. If you’re looking for some serious distance, keep pedaling at the Alabama border. The Silver Comet Trail connects to Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail, offering another 33-mile stretch of pavement into Alabama before you make your Atlanta return.
Arabia Mountain PATH
The mountain’s hiking trails top lists of Atlanta’s best hikes, but this National Heritage Area east of Atlanta is great for cycling, too. Bike more than 30 miles of paved trails through scenic forest to visit two mountains, rocky landscapes, open fields, rivers and historic areas. Unlike many of Atlanta’s other popular paved trails, the Arabia Mountain PATH rolls and curves through hilly terrain, so you’ll get a great workout. You’ll see a variety spectacular sights along the trail, including two domed granite mountains, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, several historic farms and the glassy waters of Alexander Lake.
Bike this 4 mile stretch of paved greenway and boardwalk through forest and marsh on the banks of Suwanee Creek. Extend your ride on a scenic tour through George Pierce Park on the Ivy Creek Greenway, exploring a large, open wetland while biking extended boardwalks. An out-and-back ride on the two greenways combined spans eight miles, a mid-length, mostly level ride that’s great for families.
Big Creek Greenway
The Big Creek Greenway trails north from Roswell’s Big Creek Park to Forsyth County. Ride the trail’s two segments on the banks of Big Creek: the southern Alpharetta segment runs 8 miles from Windward Parkway to Mansell Road, exploring a shady forest frequented by deer and heron. The northern segment spans nearly 7 miles in Forsyth County, following the banks of the creek from McFarland Parkway through Fowler Park to Bethelview Road. Future plans for the trail combine the two segments to create a continuous trail on the creek’s banks.
Stone Mountain PATH
Bike this 19 mile stretch of car-free paths and dedicated bike lanes from Freedom Park to Stone Mountain. You’ll ride a scenic, winding greenway through Freedom Park with Atlanta’s skyline as a backdrop, cross the Atlanta Beltline and cycle through Candler Park, and then navigate through Decatur on a series of bike paths and on-road bike lanes. Once you reach Stone Mountain Park, circle around the mountain and catch lake views on the park’s paved loop. On the return ride to Freedom Park, break for lunch in Decatur at one of many dining options just off the path (like the popular veggie burger at Farm Burger).
Need a refresher on how to master your pedal? Learn to ride a bike or relearn the basics at a class led by REI.