Overnight Camping at Brushy Mountain, Georgia

Last month I had a great trip to Brushy Mountain Tunnel on the Silver Comet Trail. The tunnel is about 800 feet long, going through the mountain.

This is a beautiful, quiet ride despite its proximity to metro Atlanta. One of the longest paved bike paths in the U.S., it has very few road crossings, even in densely populated areas; the trail goes under or over most roads, utilizing old railroad rights of way.

Once you get up around Paulding County, the trail traffic all but disappears (except for a few more dedicated riders). Up there the trail runs through large tracts of conservation land, and the trailheads are few and far between. There are a couple of long, high railroad bridges.

Shot taken from a bridge, looking down at the treetops and creek flowing beneath them.

I got up to the tunnel early in the afternoon. It was hot out, so the tunnel provided a nice break; it always has chilly air inside, like it is refrigerated.

I mismanaged my water supply, finding myself wanting to camp with the nearest access to water 10 miles down the trail. But I managed, rationing my supplies with no great hardship.

This was the first time camping with my new hammock, which proved to be a great way to spend the night in the woods. I found a place near the tunnel, just off the trail on a Forest Service road that looks like it might get bush-hogged once a year. The spot was nicely hidden in the woods.

I slept great in the hammock. Camping where there’s not a nicely manicured, clearly defined campsite is where the hammock shines. No need for a smooth, flat surface to create a comfortable place to sleep. Setting up is significantly easier than with a tent, too. It worked great, and was easy on my back. I felt like I was rocking in Momma’s arms through the night.

If I’m just finding a place to sleep in the woods, it’s also important to me to minimize my impact. With the hammock I don’t need to clear a campsite. When I leave, one could hardly tell I was there.

Next time, though, I need to bring my big rain fly or else take along food that doesn’t need to be cooked. I got lucky on this trip, but wouldn't have had a way to cook out of the rain if it were falling.

For my ride home the next day, the forecast said 90 percent chance of thunderstorms. I managed to avoid them for the most part, except for about a half hour in the rain.

Back in the city again! I like nature, but I like the city, too.

This story originally posted at Walter's blog.

Get more information about bike overnights.

Tips for this adventure: When camping, end the day with at least enough water for the evening, morning, and the morning's ride to the first water source.

4 responses so far ↓

MrCATSOE - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Does sound like you had a great adventure. Looks very inviting. Safe ride.

Anonymous - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:05 PM

The author claims that you'll illegally stole this material from his web site; www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/900004-Fair-use-of-my-personal-material

You'll should be ashamed. It is likely if you had simply contacted him first, he would have given you permission.

Winona Bateman - Jul 8, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Anonymous - We really appreciate your sharing the Bikeforums.net thread regarding this post. We would never intentionally use material without the permission of the author.

This story was submitted to us through our "Submit a Trip" form, which is how most of our bike overnights stories are submitted to us. In this case, it seems as though someone may have submitted on his behalf and we missed a step in confirming the submission with the author. We will contact Walter immediately and remove the post if that is his request. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.

Winona Bateman, Media Director
Adventure Cycling Association

Don - Feb 18, 2017 at 6:12 PM

I find it ironic that the author is upset about illegal use of his story about illegal use of the silver comet trail. Surely he knows camping is prohibited, as well as exiting the trail anywhere other than designated entry/exit points.

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