The 36 mile mixed-surface Cades Cove route enters The Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Townsend, TN via a seldom used gravel access road over Rich Mountain. Cades Cove is one of the most visited locations in the entire national park system and simply too beautiful to ride fast. The 11 mile paved loop road and connecting gravel roads are sometimes closed to motor vehicles to allow car free access to cyclists.
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 46 mile Cloudland route consists of three long horizontal paved sectors interrupted by two short vertical gravel sectors. The first gravel sector descends the west side of Lookout Mountain to the hamlet of Rising Fawn, GA and another ascends back to the crest. Stunning views, the gorge and waterfalls at Cloudland Canyon State Park and the ride along the escarpment make this an unforgettable route.
The 41 mile mixed-surface Bald River route circles the Bald River Gorge Wilderness east of Tellico Plains, Tennessee. The route starts and finishes on the Cherohala Skyway. It includes River Rd through the Tellico River Gorge and 18 miles of primo gravel through pristine federally protected forest.
Paved start and end sectors bookend 38 miles of uninterrupted gravel fun near Reliance, Tennessee. This is classic Appalachian Mountain gravel and includes a 450 foot cable suspended bridge over the Hiawassee River and a place known as Jenkins Grave Gap.
The 197 mile Appalachia Bikepacking route provides a four to five day immersion into the rugged landscape and unique culture at the intersection of north Georgia, southeast Tennessee and extreme western North Carolina.
The Local Routes Project was created to expand our growing list of bicycle routes in the deep south. The goal is to make the best cycling routes available from any location in the southeast. We're looking for great routes in every area as well as updates to routes already published on SoutheastCyclingRoutes.com.
The 44 mile mixed-surface Hiawassee Footbridge route is set in a fascinating and gorgeous area along the state designated class III scenic Hiawassee River in southeast Tennessee. The gravel climbs are ballistic and the scenery is spectacular. Two long paved descents worthy of an aero-tuck will delight your inner roadie.