First U.S. bicycle route will link Atlanta to Chattanooga

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has approved more than 2,000 miles of new U.S. Bicycle Routes in five new states, including Georgia.

April 12, 2014 Mableton - Steve O'Neill (left) walks his dog Murphy down the Silver Comet Trail in Mableton on Saturday, April 12, 2014. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL

According to a press release issued Friday:

U.S. Bike Route 21 is Georgia’s first U.S. Bicycle Route designation that connects Atlanta to Chattanooga on the Tennessee border. The bike route is 160.8 miles long. The Georgia Department of Transportation has been coordinating with Tennessee to designate USBR 21, which will eventually connect Atlanta to Cleveland.

“Georgia is excited to join other states in the development of the U.S. Bike Routes with the designation of USBR 21,” said Katelyn Digioia, Georgia DOT State Bicycle and Pedestrian Engineer in a press release Friday. “This route terminates in Atlanta and connects via the renowned Silver Comet Trail and scenic country roads to Chattanooga.”

USBR 21 begins in downtown Atlanta at the Five Points MARTA Train Station, which accesses the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, providing an easy connection to the route for international cyclists.

The route leaves Atlanta on iconic Peachtree Street, then connects to the Silver Comet Trail, a scenic rail-trail that extends to Alabama. USBR 21 heads north from the Silver Comet Trail in the city of Cedartown, whose historic downtown is worth a visit. Two-lane country roads bring bicyclists through northwest Georgia to Chickamauga, then to the Tennessee border and Chattanooga.

Two spur routes—USBR 321 and USBR 521—connect cyclists to other destinations in Northwest Georgia and connect back to the main route. USBR 321 takes cyclists through the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. USBR 521 connects to Mountain Coves Farm, which provides scenic views of nearby Lookout and Pigeon Mountains and rolling green hills of the valley.

Click here to view a map of the bike route:

About the Author