The AJC Peachtree Road Race is approaching, and you need nice places to train. There’s no better place to start than with Atlanta’s PATHs, a trail system that travels throughout metro Atlanta. Over the next few weeks leading up to July 4, we take a look at the miles of paved paths that form the PATH trail system and tell you what you need to know about using them to get ready. For more information on the PATH Foundation and to check out all the PATH trails in metro Atlanta, visit pathfoundation.org.
Location: Silver Comet Trail, from New Macland Road to Hiram (MAP)
Parking: Parking lots on various access points throughout the trail, including one at Florence Road (with horse trailer parking, restrooms and a water fountain); New Macland; South Cobb Drive; and Floyd Road
About the PATH: The trail begins at the intersection of South Cobb Drive and the East-West Connector in Smyrna, Georgia and runs all the way to the Alabama border. There it meets the Chief Ladiga trail in Alabama. The portion I did – about a 4-mile loop — starts at Florence Road and ends near the New Macland parking lot.
The area/what you’ll see: The Silver Comet Trail is a wonder to behold. Canopied by trees and bolstered with the loud tweet of birds and soft din of traffic, it’s nature at its best. Awaiting you on this portion of the trail: Two bridges that provide a great view of the streets below and sneak peeks into small neighborhoods that border the trail.
Runners should make sure to stay to the right as bikers definitely dominate the trail, whizzing by in pairs or alone. Occasional in-line skaters also appear but the paths lanes are wide enough to accommodate everyone.
Hills: Lots of hills throughout the course, with a steep one right near the Florence Road parking lot traveling east.
Where to eat post-run: This portion of the trail provides access to downtown Powder Springs where a plethora of food awaits you.
Practice your post-AJC Peachtree celebrations with margaritas from La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant
My take: This is an awesome trail if you’re tired of running on your typical PATHS. With nature on each side of you and enough room to watch bikers and skaters ride by, you might even lose track of your mileage –13.2 anyone?