- First Third – small town adventure in Anniston, Weaver, and Jacksonville.
- Second Third – rolling through farms adjacent to State Route 21 into Piedmont.
- Final Third – exploring the Talladega National Forest and Pinhoti Trail to the state line.
Interactive Map of the Chief Ladiga TrailBelow is our interactive map of the Chief Ladiga Trail. It contains all the locations mentioned in this guide (as well as a few extras). The waypoints start in Anniston and are listed in order north to Esom Hill, Georgia. If it doesn’t load, try refreshing this page 😉
First Third of The Chief Ladiga Trail
- Overview – A small-town adventure through Anniston, Weaver, and Jacksonville.
- Distance – 9 Miles
- Elevation Change – Mostly Flat
- Trail Condition – Excellent, even for skating
Middle Section of the Chief Ladiga Trail
- Overview – rolling through farms adjacent to State Route 21 into Piedmont.
- Distance – 10 Miles
- Elevation Change – 200↑ , 200↓
- Trail Condition – Good, a few spots where tree roots are lifting the trail near Piedmont
Final Third of the Chief Ladiga Trail
- Overview – Explore the Talladega National Forest and Pinhoti Trail to the state line.
- Distance – 14 Miles
- Elevation Change – 350↑ , 125↓
- Trail Condition – OK, many spots where tree roots are lifting the trail, heavy leaf cover in fall
Logistics of the Chief Ladiga TrailIt’s best to ride the Chief Ladiga Trail as an out-and-back unless you’re heading all the way to Atlanta. There are ample access points and services from Anniston to Piedmont; however, there is minimal support past Piedmont. If you had a support driver, they could pick you up at the Esom Hill Trailhead about a 1/2 mile into Georgia. We did have good cell service along the entire trail with Verizon. Also, of note, the only full-service bike shop is Wig’s Wheels in Anniston, so make sure you bring your tire kit with you. Finally, the mile markers on the trail are excellent. There’s an obvious marker every mile, and often at the 1/2 miles as well.
Rules for the Chief Ladiga TrailWe saw these rules posted several places along the trail:
- Trail open one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset.
- No motorized vehicles.
- Walkers have right of way.
- Always pass on the left.
- All pets must be kept on a leash and under control.
- Owners must clean up after pets.
- No alcoholic beverages allowed.
- Excessive speeding is prohibited.
- Safety helmets required for all bikers and skaters.
- Horses are allowed only on the Cleburne County section of the trail.
- No littering
- Users must stop at all crossings.
- Climbing on bridges and railings is prohibited.
- Use extreme caution while crossing bridges.
- Firearms and hunting are prohibited.
- Respect the privacy of adjacent homeowners
On the subject of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, they have a really cool trail moments section to allow people to share how much these trails mean to them. We wrote a piece titled The Long Trail Home about how riding the Chief Ladiga Trail felt like a homecoming to us. People have been loving the piece, so we hope you can check it out.
We also hope that you take the time to write your own trail moments. It might not seem like much, but your voice can join a chorus of voices for trail advocacy. Riding the Chief Ladiga reinforced how important that is, especially now as trail usage has grown to an all-time high, as budgets are reaching an all-time low. Without advocates, there will be no extension into Anniston. There will be no maintenance projects grinding down tree roots or keeping rest stops open. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece; just speak your mind and tell your story.
We hope you make it out on the Chief Ladiga Trail for a Calhoun County bike getaway someday. If you can’t, we hope you keep exploring your local trails and safely enjoying the outdoors.
Remember to ride safely and read our bike disclaimer before you go
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