Paved rail routes connect Ga. and Ala. trails

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Former railroad routes in Alabama and Georgia have been paved and turned into one continuous trail for walking and riding bicycles.

Project officials said the old rail lines now constitute the longest paved trail in the United States, stretching nearly 100 miles.

Alabama's Chief Ladiga trail includes more than 30 miles in Calhoun and Cleburne counties in east Alabama, and Georgia's Silver Comet trail covers about 61 miles from the Alabama state line to the Atlanta area.

The project was made possible partly by funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.

Completion of the project will be celebrated Saturday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-09-24-08 1154EDT