Cycling in the Smoky Mountains
While there aren’t mountain bike trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, most of the roads within the park are too steep and too dangerous for most cyclists. However, if you want a challenge, you can find exceptional road and mountain bike routes around the Smoky Mountains. Many of these bike trails are close to Gatlinburg.
Road Cycling in the Smoky Mountains
Always follow traffic regulations while biking on mountains roads. Dealing with winding and steep roads in the Smoky Mountains, safety is key. Children under the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet. to be safe, all cyclists should wear helmets, ensure their bike is suitable for the terrain and in good condition. Use rear view mirrors as well.
Cades Cove Loop Rd
Enjoy a scenic ride along the 11-mile one-way road to enjoy viewing wildlife and exploring historic cabins. In the summer and fall, you can rent bikes from the Cades Cove Campground Store. Starting in May and ending the second to last Saturday in September, the Loop is closed to vehicles on Wednesdays so you enjoy the Cove without safety concerns.
Townsend Bicycle Path
This paved 3-mile trail in Townsend is located in the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies”. With only a few hills, you’ll come across quaint shops and mom-and-pop restaurants as you bike parallel to US Hwy. 321. Part of the trail runs along the Little Pigeon River as well.
Townsend also has a five mile round trip trail near the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Starting in the parking lot near the Townsend “Y”, bike towards Cades Cove on Laurel Creek Road, and turn left on Tremont Road. If you have a hybrid or mountain bike, you can continue on where the road turns into a gravel road.
Gatlinburg to Newfound Gap
If you’re an experienced, the Newfound Gap offers an average grade of 5.2% for 13 miles – classifying it as a category 1 climb in the Tour de France. Carrying a flashing strobe for the tunnels is a good idea.
While there are plenty of options of scenic bike trails in the Smoky Mountains, My Bearfoot Cabins are located in resorts that offer opportunity for cycling enthusiasts to enjoy rides in the mountain air. You may want to drive a few of the roads in Sky Harbor to choose the safest route for you. If you are staying in Smoky Cove resort, the streets or more like city streets, but drive around and find your best route.
Whether you want to enjoy a scenic mountain bike ride in the Smoky Mountains or a relaxing ride near your cabin, a stay with My Bearfoot Cabins puts you near plenty of opportunities for Smoky Mountain cycling opportunities.
Pat and Don Kirchhoefer, Owners