7 Must-Explore Places While Biking the Antebellum Trail
As you're biking along the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route, be sure to hop off your bike and stretch your legs a few times along the way. The charming towns along the 180-mile route are filled with history, beauty and great food you won't want to pass by. Put these seven stops at the top of your detour list!
Hay House, Macon
As you're biking along Georgia's Antebellum Trail and stopping in Macon, the southernmost point of the trail, visit the Hay House, a property of The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974, the Johnston-Felton-Hay House is an 18,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance Revival mansion. This magnificent home has been featured on A&E's "American's Castles" and is considered one of the most advanced antebellum structures in America for its style, craftsmanship and technological innovations. A guided tour is available.
And if you didn’t bring your own bike, then just grab a bike at one of the Zagster bike stations. The Macon Bike Share Program provides a convenient, affordable and healthy way to get around the city.
Otis Redding Monument, Gray
While pedaling through Gray, be sure to stop by the Otis Redding Monument in downtown Gray. This seven-foot interactive marker is designed to look like an album cover. The marker plays 12 of Otis's songs, including "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay" and "Hard to Handle." You can find this marker at 106 West Clinton Street.
Oconee River Greenway, Milledgeville
When you're taking on Milledgeville ("Milly") with a bike, you cannot pass up a visit to the Oconee River Greenway. Here is where you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors in Milly. At the Greenway, there are trails and paths for walking, jogging and biking, and the best part is that it is right next to the Oconee River. You can spend hours here biking the trails or relaxing by the river.
If you run into any trouble during your exploration, there is a bike repair station behind the Welcome Center or stop into Oconee Outfitters. If your bike has a flat tire or needs any other kind of repair, they are the ones to fix it. They will even rent you a bike if that’s what you need.
Old School History Museum, Eatonton
Enjoy free admission at the Old School History Museum in Eatonton, located in The Plaza Arts Center adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce. Housed in four classrooms of the original 1916 Eatonton School, the museum features four exhibits, including a vintage drugstore complete with marble-topped soda fountain, 1940's jukebox, ice cream chairs and tables, and period photographs; a reproduction of turn-of-the-century downtown Eatonton with a variety of storefronts; a history gallery that relays the rich heritage of Eatonton and Putnam County; and a carefully restored early 1900's classroom, which boasts its original blackboard, cloakroom, vintage desks and a collection of student memorabilia. A bike rack is located just outside the museum for convenience, and public restrooms are available inside. Closed on holidays.
The Krimson Kafe, Watkinsville
The casual Krimson Kafe restaurant is located in Downtown Watkinsville and serves light meals like sandwiches, soups and salads. It's a great stop for bikers to recharge and continue their journey along the trail.
Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge
While in Rutledge, be sure to check out the second largest state park in Georgia, Hard Labor Creek State Park. Hard Labor is known for its wide range of recreational opportunities, such as golf, horseback riding and hiking. The park also offers a modern campground and fully equipped cottages.
Mama's Boy, Athens
Right by the newly opened Firefly Trail and Dudley Park in Athens, you'll find Mama's Boy, a local favorite spot for breakfast or lunch. One look at the huge biscuits and you’ll see why "Southern Living" named Mama's Boy one of the "South’s Best Biscuit Joints." The menu definitely reads Southern fun dining, with decadent French toast and even chocolate cake for breakfast. Seasonal vegetables make their way into hash recipes, and the kitchen staff knows their eggs, too. Lunch selections include pimento cheese burger, pulled pork and chicken salad. The atmosphere is decidedly Athens, with a modern diner flare frequented by college students, professors, families and hipsters alike.