Silver Comet Trail in Polk County

Signage at Silver Comet Trail parking areas can point people toward trailheads and attractions along the route in Polk County, raising opportunities for spending at local businesses.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Board of Natural Resources signed off Tuesday on a plan to extend the popular Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County.

Board members unanimously approved agreements with Cobb County, the state Department of Transportation and the Forest Park-based nonprofit PATH Foundation to add 2.3 miles onto the eastern end of the trail, taking it inside the Interstate 285 perimeter for the first time.

The Silver Comet Trail runs for 61.5 miles along an abandoned rail line from Smyrna west through Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties to the Georgia/Alabama line. The paved trail is used primarily for biking and hiking.

The new extension ultimately will allow the trail to connect with the Atlanta Beltline. To accomplish that aim, another extension will be needed to cross the Chattahoochee River.

The PATH Foundation has agreed to build the extension at no cost to the state, Steve Friedman, chief of real estate for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, told board members Tuesday. Cobb County will operate and maintain the new section of the trail, he said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year, Friedman said.

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