Mountain Biking in the Tennessee River Valley
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Biking Trails in the Tennessee River Valley and Mountains

Visit the Towns in the Tennessee River Valley and Mountains
Tanasi Mountain Bike Trail System

Bear Paw Loop
Beginner - 1.7 miles

This ride is suitable to those who possess beginner level skills of bike riding and are in good enough shape to sustain a 0.7-mile climb. After that it is all fun-almost all moderate downhill back to the Whitewater Center.

Chestnut Mountain Loop
Advanced - 8.6 miles

This ride is suitable for those who possess good riding skills and are in good enough shape to ride for 2 hours with several moderate climbs. Access the trail from Thunder Rock Campground. The majority of the trail follows an old logging road (double track) through a hardwood forest with 1/4 of the trail being single track.

Chestnut Mountain Loop with West Fork Loop
Advanced - 11.5 miles

There are several moderate climbs, rocky sections as well as water crossings. Ride Entrance Trail to Chestnut Mountain Loop, at the far end of the Chestnut Mountain Loop, ride the West Fork/FS45 loop, then return to the Chestnut Mountain loop and take Bear Paw Loop on the way back.

Tanasi Race Course
Advanced - 11 miles

This course has a little of everything. It starts with Bear Paw Loop, does Chestnut Mountain single track section, takes the screaming downhill Thunder Rock Express followed by the grueling uphill along FS45 to the 1330 and back to Bear Paw. This is one lap and is repeated multiple times for the advanced rider.

Thunder Rock Express
Advanced - 1.5 miles

All downhill with a couple of awesome jumps backed up by loose shale, off camber turns and deep gravity wells. Sharp turns and 2 bridges (slippery when wet).

Chilhowee Mountain Trails

Azalea Trail 141
Beginner - 1.5 miles

This ride is fun for beginners and experts alike, with fast narrow single track leading mostly downhill (if you start across the lower campground road). You can use this trail to connect up with the rest of the system or just as a short loop back to the campground area.

Benton Falls Trail 131
Moderate - 1.5 miles

This wide track leads from the lake to the waterfall. Watch for hikers and be respectful.

Clemmer Trail 302
Advanced - 1.5 miles
4.5 miles on Benton Falls Trail to the junction of Trail 302

A classic screaming downhill or a gut wrenching uphill (depending on which direction you ride it). Clemmer has it all: several creek crossings, rhododendron tunnels and surfaces ranging from sandy to rocky. The high end of the trail is at the beautiful Benton Falls (accessible from a short hiking trail.)

Clear Creek Trail
Advanced - 3+ miles

One of the most challenging trails in the system; be ready for some killer climbing, 3 extreme switchbacks, one of which is just barely but not impossible to ride. Be very careful especially in the middle of this trail where there is a fairly steep rock cliff area. Near the end, be ready for an extremely fast downhill with some wonderful whoops to fly off of. There are a couple of options at the end of this downhill depending of how wet you want to get.

Slickrock Trail Loop
Advanced - 3+ miles

A sweet trail system which is actually a small network of trails hooked together by a couple of old Forest Service Roads. You will find single track with climbing twists and turns and some fun downhills with whoopde-doos. One section has been unofficially named Naked Widow Loop. This stems from several sightings of an elderly woman bathing in the small creek at the middle of the branch. Legend has it she lived with her husband on the Benton side of the mountain when her husband died, whereupon she began to endlessly wander the trails.

Cherohala Skyway

trails range from 3 to 8 miles in length

Although separate bicycle lanes or paths are not specifically designated along the Cherohala Skyway, the design of the paved road and the grassy shoulders provides room for bicyclists. There are 12 existing trailheads located adjacent to the parking overlooks on the Skyway. The trails range from 3 to 8 miles in length and traverse some of the most beautiful forest land found in the Southern Appalachians.

Cherohala-North River Loop
Advanced - 50 miles (3,800' climb)

This loop combines 23 miles of the Cherohala Skyway up to Stratton Meadows, descends North River Rd 12 miles and then 14 miles down the Tellico River Rd. Also from Stratton Meadows you can take the Santeetlah Creek Loop 28 miles to the base of the Cherohala Skyway at Santeetlah.

Tellico Ranger District Trail System

Citico Creek and Tellico River
Advanced - 11 miles

Citico and the Tellico are clear mountain streams running through hemlocks and rhododendron. The gravel Citico Creek Road (FS 35) climbs gently from Citico Beach as it follows the creek. toward Indian Boundary Camp Ground.

Indian Boundary Loop
Beginner - 3.2 miles

This is the ideal beginner ride. It's all smooth, level, lightly-graveled single track, has bridges across the streams and completely encircles Indian Boundary Lake.

Cowcamp Ridge Loop
Advanced - 18 miles

For the more vertically inclined Cowcamp is a beautiful uphill ride (2,250') that starts at Double Camp camping area and climbs up to Farr Gap (2,910') and nice views. Continue up to 3,155' were you descend FS 26 back to FS 35 and back to Double Camp.

Miller Ridge
Advanced - 10+ miles

From Jake Best camping area you can ride dirt roads along Miller ridge west of the Citico Road about 10 miles to Indian Boundary. There is also a 4.9-mile more technical section that you can add in that climbs to 2,100'.

for more information
Cherokee National Forest Service  


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