Bike Georgia's Antebellum Trail - Southern Section

Cycle 130 miles over four days on this scenic bike ride between Madison and Macon.

The 180-mile Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route can be covered all at once or divided into shorter segments. Find turn-by-turn directions on the Ride with GPS route page, and for more tips, read this guide to the trail from Georgia Bicycle Adventures.

Below is a suggested itinerary for a 130-mile, four-day trip along the southern portion of the trail. Alternatively, cyclists can explore the 50-mile northern section of the trail following this three-day itinerary. Review the Ride with GPS elevation chart to determine which portions of the route are best suited for your skill level.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy exploring the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route! The friendly folks in these towns look forward to welcoming you into their communities. To add must-see excursions to your ride on the trail, visit the Antebellum Trail website for a list of suggested attractions.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Madison to Eatonton

    After enjoying Madison's Southern hospitality, cycle 33 miles over gently rolling countryside to Eatonton.

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  • Eatonton to Milledgeville

    Be prepared for challenging terrain on the 40 miles between Eatonton and Milledgeville.

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  • Milledgeville to Old Clinton and Gray

    Riding 32 miles south from Milledgeville, you’ll discover the quiet towns of Gray and Old Clinton.

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  • Gray to Macon

    Conclude your trek of the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route nearly 22 miles from Gray in downtown Macon.

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Madison to Eatonton

Starting from Madison, follow the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route south approximately 33 miles. You’ll travel over the gently rolling countryside, through a section of the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, and arrive at the beautiful town center of Eatonton, the hometown of authors Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker.

Stop in to the Eatonton-Putnam County Welcome Center to discover Eatonton’s history and learn about other activities the area has to offer, including local dining and shopping on the town square. Pick up a copy of the Historic Walking Guide, and follow the route to stretch your legs and see some of the most beautiful and unusual Greek Revival and antebellum homes in town. Overnight in town at the Western Motel or a few miles outside of town at accommodations on Lake Oconee or Lake Sinclair.

Bike-friendly destinations in Eatonton

Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails – Check out the trails at this historic site and natural area.

Rent a bike from The Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce and journey the self-guided bike tour of historic downtown. Bike rental prices are $10 for a half day (4 hours) and $15 for a whole day (8 hours). 

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Eatonton to Milledgeville

Located 40 miles south from Eatonton in the heart of middle Georgia is the beautiful college town of Milledgeville, a welcome site for bike travelers. The terrain leading in and out of Milledgeville will prove to be the most challenging along the route, but it’s unavoidable as Milledgeville is quite hilly.

Once you arrive in Milledgeville, you will be thoroughly impressed with the town’s stately antebellum architecture, Civil War history, vibrant town center, nightlife, college culture and restaurants. Choose from a variety of places to stay in Milledgeville, including bed and breakfast inns and campgrounds. Bike racks throughout town let you secure your ride while you explore downtown shops and restaurants.

Bike shops and bike-friendly destinations in Milledgeville

Antebellum Inn – Stay at this historic inn and experience true Southern hospitality. Try out a different set of wheels by renting bikes from the inn to cruise around town.

Oconee Outfitters – This great bike and kayak shop can help you with your ride and point you to area trails.

Oconee River Greenway – Ride along this multi-use path and enjoy the beauty and sounds of the Oconee River.

For an adventurous ride, pedal to the Selma Irwin Nature Trail, a 4.5-mile loop just outside of town, that offers rocks and roots thorough narrow tread, but gorgeous views and a pond.

The Local Yolkal Cafe – Park your bike in front and stop in for a pancake feast and brunch served daily.

Buffington’s – After a long day’s ride, rest your legs and refuel with a craft beer and the skillet burger, piled high with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg.

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Milledgeville to Old Clinton and Gray

During Sherman’s March to the Sea, Union soldiers traveled down the streets of historic Old Clinton, where you can still tour the one-room school house museum and a Methodist cemetery, in which are buried many notable Georgians. Gray, established in 1908 as the county seat of Jones, has antique and collectible shops as well as local eating spots and a hotel. Enjoy the peaceful, easy feeling of these two countryside communities.

Gray to Macon

The southernmost point of the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route concludes at the Visitors Center in Macon. Nearly 22 miles from Gray, Macon is known for its soulful music history and also offers opportunities to explore Native American, African American and Civil War heritages. With all of the activities available, you will want to book a room at one of the many places to stay in Macon and spend a few days exploring Georgia.

Bike shops in Macon

Bike Tech Macon – Check out this locally owned shop for gear, bikes, group rides and cycling resources.

Cherry Street Cycles – Located in downtown Macon, this full-service outfitter can help with all of your cycling needs.

Mentioned in this Itinerary