Cycling Smoky Mountains
If you are an avid bike rider and looking for a great place to cycle, The Smoky Mountains and neighboring communities offer some great trails and scenery that is unmatched. Whether you are a bike riding extremist or a casual cycler looking to get out and explore we have some great trails for you. The list of bike trails below are trails for both road and mountain bikers. Always be aware of the terrain and prepare for some steep climbs. Pack accordingly, have fun and stay safe.
While the Smoky Mountains offer no trails specifically for mountain biking, bikes are allowed in a some areas and offer a great experience and scenery for all who ride.
The first bike trail in the Smokies is the Gatlinburg trail.
The Gatlinburg Trail is one of two walking paths on which visitors can walk dogs and bicycle.
The Gatlinburg Trail is close to 2 miles one-way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The Gatlinburg trail for the most part is pretty flat and runs through forest along side the Little Pigeon River. Make sure to pay attention to the trail as it often has joggers, other bike riders and people walking their pets.
Cades Cove Loop
One of the best ways to see the park is to hop on a bike and cycle around with the family. The bike paths offer views of nature and wildlife that you will remember forever.
Both road bikes and mountain bikes are welcome. The 11 mile loop provides several different options for those on a mountain bike.
For a challenging ride with a steep path check out the Parsons Branch Road/ Forge Creek Rd, which is just past the turn for the Cades Cove Visitor Center.
For a bike riding path with some great scenery check out Sparks Ln./ Hyatt Ln. These roads offer an option to bypass the longer route.
One of the busiest paths to cycle in Cades Cove Loop is Rich Mountain Rd. The path here is around 7 miles long and gets fairly steep.
The Cades Cove loop is approximately 11 miles long, with bypasses as mentioned before.
But there are route turnoffs at two different points if you’d prefer a shorter ride. Make sure to enjoy the numerous historic buildings,homes, churches, and workplaces of Cades Cove residents during the 19th and early 20th centuries all along the path. Bring your camera and be ready this trail offers something different every time you visit.
For some extreme bike riding close to Gatlinburg the cycling trail here is 6 miles of mostly gravel road that follow the river and streams into the upper Greenbrier area. Bicycling is permitted on Greenbrier roads but not on all trails. Greenbrier is located about 6 miles east of Gatlinburg. Make sure to bring your camera as Greenbrier is known for its beautiful wildflowers.
Townsend Bicycle Trail
The Townsend Bike riding trail runs parallel to Hwy US 321 in Townsend, with road signs denoting beginning and end. Townsend Visitors Center on trail. This is a paved trail that is roughly 3 miles in length. There are a few short and easy hills and is great for kids of any age. Along the route you will find some great shops, restaurants and hotels. While riding your bike on the Townsend Bike Trail you will have beautiful views in every direction. Peaceful and serene makes for a great cycling trip.
If you love a long bike ride with lots of hills then this bike path may be just for you. The foothills parkway is offers beautiful scenery, plenty of hills and is just under 17 miles of cycling roads for the true adventurist. A great path with minimal traffic and places to stop in case you need a break on this 17 mile cyclers paradise.
The Ellejoy Jaunt
The Ellejoy Jaunt is one of the longer routes in the area and travels about 20.5 miles. The jaunt consists of mostly paved roads with some hills. The trail offers lovely scenic views of farmland, mountains and water. check out some of the Historic sites as you cycle on this lengthy path. Little River Run is an 11-mile ride on mostly easy graded paved roads.