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Riding in Northeastern Alabama on the Chief Ladiga Trail

What a joy to find a paved rail trail in Piedmont Alabama. Congratulations Piedmont! Birmingham should be extremely jealous!

This is a 22.1 mile paved trail that goes from the Cleburne/Calhoun County line through the city of Piedmont to Jacksonville. There is an addition 2.5 miles at Weaver. From Jacksonville to Piedmont, it practically parallels Alabama Highway 21.

East of the finished portion of this trail is 8.3 miles of abandoned railway to the Georgia line. Cleburne County has a $40,000 grant to repair bridges and rough grade, and will open this section to mountain bikes, horses and hikers. This part of the trail will cross the Pinhoti Trail, which is part of the Talladega National Forest and should open sometime in 2000. When completed, this 33 mile rail trail will provide access to four sports complex facilities in four cities.

Eventually the Silver Comet Trail, which will start in Smyrna, Georgia and end in Cedartown, Georgia, will connect with the Chief Ladiga at the Alabama/Georgia State line creating a 90-mile continuous trail. We think this is fantastic!! Be sure to check out the Silver Comet Trail web site.

For further information about the trail, check out Chief Ladiga Web page.

Chief Ladiga was a Creek Indian chief who signed the Cusseta Treaty of 1832 giving up the land in this area. He was allowed to select land in Benton County and to have his title validated. In 1833 Chief Ladiga sold half his land to speculators for $2,000. This was the land that became Jacksonville. A portrait of Chief Ladiga was painted when he was in Washington to sign the Cusseta Treaty. It still hangs in the Boston museum.



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