This is the classic 65 mile paved road route from Asheville NC, along Blue Ridge Parkway to the summit of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Fit cyclists and climbers shouldn't be intimidated. New cyclists and non-climbers can drive part way up and ride the rest. Either way, its more accessible than some imagine and a chance to ride in one of the most stunning environments anywhere in the eastern US.
Gorgeous horse ranches, tree canopy tunnels, open views and an almost complete absence of traffic make this 57 mile road route northwest of Cartersville GA as beautiful as it is challenging. Road cyclists have been climbing Boyd Mountain since the days of lugged frames and cue sheets. In spite of its name it isn't quite the mountains but it isn't flat by any stretch of the imagination. Lots of elevation change, including the 8% KOM from which the route gets its name, will exercise both your derailleurs and your legs.
Accessible from the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet Rail Trails, the playful and rolling Duggar Mountain gravel routes are available in 41, 52 and 68 mile lengths. All three traverse ridges and climb the sometimes punchy hills in the pine glades of the Talladega National Forest near Piedmont, Alabama.
Water defines the 66 mile mixed surface Rainbow Springs route in Western North Carolina. The route is an out & back along the banks of the Nantahala River and a significant portion of the route features crashing whitewater within river's gorge. A spin along the lake and views of 5000 foot peaks will have you reaching for your camera. A fast finish will have you grinning like a little kid.
Congress authorized the Foothills Parkway as a scenic drive to provide magnificent views into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located in East Tennessee, 31 miles of the roadway are open as of 2020. The Foothills Parkway route is 63 miles and 8100 feet of climbing if ridden end to end as an out-and-back. Climbers will love it but even if you don't have the legs for the whole route then at least do the newly constructed eastern section for its stunning views.
The paved Tower of Terror road route climbs and descends the hills northeast of Sosebee Cycling Park in White, Georgia. There is a tower but the only thing frightening about this 66 mile road route is a bit of chipseal. Expect lots of elevation change, some technical descending and virtually no traffic. The area has many interesting features including rushing creeks, a spring which pours out of the mountain and some truly bizarre roads.
The Morgan Valley Century route utilizes the scenic and car-free Silver Comet Trail for most of its length while gently rolling, low traffic Morgan Valley Road eliminates what is arguably the least appealing section of the trail. This could be your first century or your next PR. A variety of trailhead options make this route adaptable to rides of any length.
The start of the 68 mile Gravel Reaper route is located two hours north of Atlanta in the heart of Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The area is a mecca for outdoor activity and on summer weekends you may encounter dozens of others on MTB, gravel and road bikes. This route climbs and descends several ridges and passes Camp Merrill, home to the US Army's 5th Ranger Training Battalion.
The Cohutta Death March is a 76 mile circumnavigation of the federally protected Cohutta Wilderness in North Georgia and adjoining Big Frog Wilderness in Tennessee. Using gravel forest service roads for all but one mile, this route lives up to its name.
The Red Clay Ramble is a gently rolling, 60 mile gravel route through the farms and forests of Middle Georgia. Yes, the soil is red clay. A store stop in the town of Gray has been added to the "official" race route for the sake of hydration.
The Braswell Mountain Metric is a classic 100 km road route west from the Atlanta suburbs into rural Paulding County with one major climb over Braswell Mountain. The return east uses the most interesting section of the Silver Comet Trail including the 800 foot long tunnel under Brushy Mountain and the 750 foot long trestle over Pumpkinvine Creek.
Starting in the alpine city of Helen Georgia, metric, fondo and century options all feature iconic paved climbs and gravel ascents to remote mountain peaks. On some days you can literally ride up into the clouds. Over 135 ft/mile climbing make the Pinnacle routes some of the most difficult one day routes in the state of Georgia.