The Chief Ladiga Trail from Piedmont

Trail sign in Piedmont
Ledges and forest
One of many creeks
At the state line
Stone cut under the arch
Stone cut looking the other way under the arch
The trail going into Georgia
Finally going downhill
A dammed river along the trail
The Solid Rock Cafe
Annual 5K Crap Run
Our truck has a little brother!

As you may recall from a previous post, we rode the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama from Anniston to Piedmont on a very hot October day.  By the time we got to Piedmont we were hungry and tired and couldn’t find a place to eat, so we turned around and rode back to Anniston.  A few days later we found Piedmont and continued our ride.

The Chief Ladiga Trail goes from Anniston to the Alabama / Georgia line, and then continues into Atlanta as the Silver Comet Trail.  The first day we rode 18 miles of the trail from Anniston to Piedmont.  The day we continued our ride we went from Piedmont to the state line – the end of the Chief Ladiga Trail.

Piedmont turned out to be a bustling little town with a nice grocery store, library, several parks, the usual banks and gas stations.  There is plenty of parking in Piedmont because the bike trail goes right through the center of town and there are parking lots for churches and stores along the north side of the trail.  Bike riders are free to park in any of the spots.  There is a small welcome center with water and restrooms at the edge of town.

Piedmont was the only town along this stretch of the bike trail.  The rest of it was rural or forested, with the easternmost part of the trail going through the Talledega National Forest.  The National Forest was a beautiful section with ledges and lots of shade.  Of course, the second day we rode the trail was 30 degrees cooler than the first day, and I even wore my biking pants instead of my shorts.

The trail was a steady 2% grade uphill all the way to Georgia, which meant we were working hard.  But coming back from Georgia was a breeze!  Downhill all the way.  I think we could have coasted most of the 14 miles.  There was a small park at the state line with an arch.  The trail also changed from asphalt to concrete at the state line.  We decided 14 miles was enough to ride and did not ride on into Georgia.

When we got back to Piedmont we ate at the Solid Rock Cafe in “downtown.”  Across the street from the Solid Rock Cafe there was a gazebo decorated for a fun run that would take place that evening.  The shirts of the people getting set up for the run were fluorescent pink but the name really caught our attention:  The 5K Crap Run.  The food was good at the Cafe and we were glad to be able to find – and support – a local business.  We saw, but didn’t try, their specialty:  sweet potato maple cheesecake.  Hmmm.

All together we rode 28 miles that day (and a total of 63 miles) on the Chief Ladiga Trail.  It was a well-maintained trail with lots of great scenery.  We averaged 15.4 miles per hour, with our speed going to Georgia much slower than our speed coming back to Piedmont.  The elevation change was 1358 feet up and we did the ride in 1 hour and 50 minutes.