The Best Southern Rail Trails

These five rail-trails beckon to be explored year-round. But they are especially tempting in the fall, winter, and spring when it’s frigid up north. All of the trails are pavement or concrete, so they are smooth and ideal for bikes, recumbents, inline skates, Trikkes, wheelchairs, and hiking.

The trails vary in length from 27 miles to 62 miles, and it’s possible to combine two of the trails for almost 100 miles of linear adventure.

Most people dream of visiting the old South to experience the charm and magic of a bygone era. The five trails in this bundle may be the last best hope of experiencing that rural, southern atmosphere that has become so rare. One of these trails starts in a large city, two of them start in large towns, and they all visit small towns and bucolic countryside.

As much as they have in common (southern charm, mild grade, scenic views), they also have their own unique attractions that will tempt you to explore each one.

The Withlacoochee State Trail is near the theme parks of Orlando, the Gulf Coast, and citrus-picking country.

The Tammany Trace is just over Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans with its Cajun food, nightly festivities, and musical heritage.

The Longleaf Trace starts on the campus of the University of Southern Miss and takes you on a guided tour of a botanical wonderland.

The Silver Comet Trail begins on the outskirts of Atlanta and leads you through railroad tunnels, soaring trestles, mystical landscapes, and peachy Georgia landscapes.

The Chief Ladiga Trail begins at the Georgia state line and quickly shows you the meaning of the phrase, “Sweet Home Alabama.”

So if you’re tempted to visit the South just to ride these trails, you won’t be disappointed; but you may want to consider hanging around for a while and inspecting some of the “other attractions” as well.

Whether you live just up the street a spell or in another part of the world, you’ll want to add all five of these trails to your lifetime bucket list

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