By Sue Rodman
A few years ago we spent a month in Breckenridge, CO. One of my favorite things about Breck in the summer was the ability to leave my car parked for days on end and just bike wherever we wanted to go.
When we returned to Atlanta, I didn’t want to trade in our bikes for a car just yet, so we went looking for ways to explore on two wheels. It’s amazing how different the city looks from a bike. If your kids are just getting started on a bike, try visiting a local school or deserted tennis or basketball court. These places offer a flat surface for new riders to get and keep their balance. Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, here are four places to cycle Atlanta with kids. Know others? Tell us about them.
Places to Cycle Atlanta with Kids
The Atlanta Beltline – When complete, the Atlanta Beltline will be 22 miles of continuous trails circling downtown Atlanta and connecting 45 neighborhoods. There are three sections of the Beltline that are complete, but unfortunately, the complete 22 miles of continuous trails isn’t there…yet. The trails that are available are paved and flat, perfect for the novice bike rider or the experienced. The trails wind through various parks offering lots of fun stops and on the East Side trail, you can even bike to some great restaurants. Right now you can view Art of the Beltline too.
Bicycle Tours of Atlanta – Bicycle Tours of Atlanta is the only bicycle tour company in the city. Located in East Atlanta, they offer tours of local historic neighborhoods like Inman Park and Little Five Points, as well as tours of local street art or houses for sale. Bicycle Tours of Atlanta will even custom design a tour for your group. Prices include bike and helmet rentals, so no need to worry if you don’t have a two wheeler.
The scheduled tours are for older children who understand the rules of the road and are more predictable on a bike, but Atlanta Bike Tours also offers customized tours, and bike safety workshops for kids and parents.
The Silver Comet Trail – The Silver Comet Trail is located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta. It’s free of charge, and travels west through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties. The Trail is over 61 miles long, and starts near Mavell Road in Smyrna, Georgia. It ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line, near Cedartown and Esom. At that point, it connects to the 33-mile long Chief Ladiga Trail. Both the Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga are fully paved rail-trails built on abandoned railroad lines. The combined Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trail length is estimated to be over 100 paved miles from Smyrna, Georgia to Anniston, Alabama.
BMX Dirt Bike Tracks at Noonday Park and Wild Horse Park – Cobb County has two great BMX dirt bike tracks at Noonday Park and Wild Horse. Bring your bike and helmet and these courses are free to ride. Kids enjoy just going over the hills or seeing how much air they can get by jumping them. Both of these places are public parks, but BMX of Georgia maintains the tracks and has right of first refusal, so call ahead to make sure they aren’t using the track for practice, competitions or grooming.