My first bike camping trip! Rode Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail and Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail, camping at the beautiful Chief Ladiga Campground near Piedmont, Alabama.
Bicycle Adventurers: This was my first bike camping trip, and I’m hooked! It was a lot of fun to plan and figure out what was essential and what should be left at home. Once underway it was a great feeling knowing I was “self-contained” with everything I needed to camp out and get by on my own. Of course I learned a lot to make the next trip better, but for my first adventure, it turned out great. Can’t wait to go again!
When: July 2017
Accommodations: I camped one night at the Chief Ladiga Campground. This is a private campground located directly on the Chief Ladiga Trail. The fee to camp is $25 per night, and there are several beautiful, creek-side tent sites to choose from. There is no water or electricity at the campsite, but there is a very nice and clean bathhouse with hot showers, restrooms, and plenty of clean running water.
Distance: This was a two-day, one-night trip, and I rode about 55 miles round trip, which included a ride into Piedmont, Alabama.
Bonus tip for this adventure? The Chief Ladiga Campground is located in a valley between two mountain ridges, with a beautiful creek flowing right through it. Although I wasn’t too far from Metro Atlanta, it felt like I was worlds away.
I started in Cedartown, Georgia, on the Silver Comet Trail. I parked at the Welcome Center/Old Train Depot because the overnight parking seemed secure, and it was. From there it’s about a 17-mile ride to the Alabama State line, where the trail becomes the Chief Ladiga. Then it’s about another seven miles to the campground. Once I made camp, I rode into Piedmont, Alabama just to check out what the town had to offer, a decent grocery store, a few restaurants. The trip from the campground to downtown Piedmont and back was about 20 miles total. Although some thunderstorms rumbled in the distance, it never rained a drop on me!
There was only one other tent camper at the campground besides me, so the place was very quiet. After a peaceful night, I awoke to a foggy morning, which was spectacular in its silent beauty. By 9:30 AM, I was packed and on my way back to Cedartown, where I arrived just before lunch. While on the trail, I saw deer, rabbits, and one little harmless snake. I didn’t have to worry about cars, and that was great!
Your favorite local bike shop? Atlanta Trek, McDonough location.
Bike overnight tips and tricks?
In July, in the South, you don’t need a sleeping bag. All you need is a tent, a pad and a sheet. You also don’t need any long sleeved shirts, long pants, or jackets. So I was able to lighten up on all of these things. This allowed me room for a really nice Helinox camp chair and my Eno hammock, which were wonderful! My pack weight was just at 30 pounds. I was able to average about 14 miles per hour on a mountain bike, but understand the trail is on an old railroad bed and thus very flat.
HOW ABOUT YOU? Inspire others by submitting your own bike overnight adventure!