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  1. #1
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    I Need a Primer on MTB Community/Trails in Nashville Area...

    my wife and i are considering buying a home in nashville. she grew up in the area and now that our kids are grown, we are thinking of doing some different things...like living at least part time in nashville near her family and old friends.

    i don't know anything about the mtb scene near nashville and would be interested to hear about what sort of trails are around, how far people go to ride, what organized groups exist, etc...we live in the sf bay area now and i'm not expecting to see what we see in norcal, but it would be great to get a sense of how big the community is. thanks!

  2. #2
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    There is a great community of riders in this area. There is also an explosion of trail projects in MidTN. The MidTN IMBA/SORBA group has so many different locations begging for their attention to build trail systems that they are almost spread too thin.

    So there's MidTN IMBA/SORBA: Sorba Mid TN

    There's a board with lots of trail info: Tennessee Mountain Bike Forums

    There's also a group in Clarksville: COGS - Home

    The two most popular riding venues in the area by far are Montgomery Bell and Lock 4, both within about an hour of down town. There are other trails closer to down town - Hamilton Creek, Cane Ridge (just opened phase , phase 2 and 3 still to come). Also, to the north, my current trail home is Rotary Park, and then you get to the LBL trails.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions, I'll be happy to try and help. If y'all come this direction, maybe we can hit some trails together.

  3. #3
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    thanks, i'm just trying to get a sense of where people ride, what types of trails, and how far you have to go to get a decent ride in....plus how active the riders are in doing group rides, etc. i realize it's not going to be like norcal, but the countryside is really beautiful so i'm thinking there must be some good trail networks...and maybe without any of the bullsh*t rules we have in norcal.

    the bigger issue being whether we are going to toss away our existing life for a new one that includes nashville.....

  4. #4
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    Yep. I semi understand what you mean about tossing away existing life, etc. One thing I don't get is the norcal rules - I have heard about large scale trail restrictions (trails closed to cyclists, etc) as speed limits. Around here we have some hiking trails that are hikers only, but there are also bike trails that are bikes only. And there are more shared trails than anything else.

    As far as types of trails, Lock 4 is fast and flowing. There's about 7.5 miles of trail there. Hammy is technical - it's been accused of being a rock garden attempting to pose as a MTB trail. I can't confirm this because I haven't made the trip out to ride it.

    The Bell is a pretty good mix of fast flowing stuff, somewhat technical climbs, rooty technical trails, and clean quite pine needle trails that will lure you into flying down them, then bite you when you try to go around a turn if you aren't ready for the ride. Looking at about 20 miles of trail here.

    Rotary is more technical, less smooth, rather steep by the standards of other trails in the area. It sees a lot of action from the Clarksville crowd because it's the only trail system within about 45 minutes, and for most of us it's 20 minutes or less away. In the past it's had issues, but 250 hours of volunteer work in the past 6 months has put some of those issues to right. There's right at 7 miles of trail here, it's not unusual to do 1000 to 1200 feet of climbing in 6-7 miles.

    The Clarksville group rides together at least once a week, usually twice in the summer. We are working on getting authorization for a group night ride so we can ride more this time of year.

    The Nashville crowd seems to have a couple of weekly rides, which seem to be venue specific.


    One trail system I missed earlier was Shutes Branch. That's in the Nashville/Mt. Juliet area. I'd like to be able to tell you more about it, but all I know is the trail map is on my desk, and it's a trip I want to make, but it's about an hour away from me, so it's a time thing. Rumor has it, it's pretty nice though. The map says there's 8 miles of trail here.

  5. #5
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    are there any 'destination' parks where you can do a bigger, all day ride (which for me can be 25-35 miles with a decent amount of climbing) or is that not a day trip from nashville?

  6. #6
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    The only two things I can think of right off hand would be LBL ( LBL | Mountain Biking and Cycling Trails ) and Fall Creek Falls or Big South Fork - one of the two of those was just granted Epic status by IMBA. I think you could call either one a day trip from Nashville.

  7. #7
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    thanks! 90 miles to lbl, that's defiinitely day trip range....i drive about 105 miles to my favorite spot near the bay area, so i'll be saving some gas to go to lbo from nashville....

  8. #8
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    As Cotharyus mentioned, there are four good trails within a 45 minute drive of downtown. They are all about a 9 mile lap, but, Montgomery Bell has about 25 miles of trails.

    Are your friends North, South, East or West of downtown?

    There are great trails in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, KY and AL all within 3 hours drive. Chattanooga is within 2 hours and is really fantastic.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  9. #9
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    family and most people we know are in nashville proper...belmont, green hills, etc...this is a tough decision/move, we'll see how it turns out.

    i tell you what though...from my unscientific observation, the nashville area sure seems to be rocking economically. it is good to see.

  10. #10
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    From my experience - the economy here is bonkers. The largest healthcare companies in the world are here and they are all growing like mad. The music and entertainment industry is also fueling the fire. Then there are all the companies that support them and all the stuff that goes along with it. Plus - no state income tax. A lot of big companies, like Nissan, are moving here.

    Belmont and Green Hills are the most expensive parts of town, but centrally located to all the trails. I moved here from FL three years ago and it has been amazing. Last week I did a 6 hour race that had a couple hundred entrants. Very good scene. Great people.

    What line of work are you in? I'll do what I can to help.
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  11. #11
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    Monte Sano is 1.5 hours drive from downtown Nashville

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    Like someone mentioned already, Chattanooga has a LOT to offer. It's about 2 hours from Nashville, an easy day trip I do quite often (in reverse) for business. Just my opinion here, but most of the Chattanooga area trails are a pretty big step above what I've ridden in Nashville (which would only include Lock 4 and Montgomery Bell).

    Within a few minutes of downtown Chattanooga you've got:

    20+ miles at Raccoon Mountain
    25 - 30 miles at Five Points (Lookout Mountain)
    10 miles at Enterprise South
    10 miles at Stringer's Ridge (opening soon)
    8 +/- miles at Booker T Washington
    15+ miles at White Oak Mountain

    Additionally, there are maybe 50 miles of trail at the Ocoee (another hour past Chattanooga). You also have the Pinhoti Trails in North Georgia (maybe 30 or 40 minutes past Chattanooga). What's more, there is the Perimeter Domain Trail in Sewanee (about half way between Chattanooga and Nashville) as well as the trails at AEDC (near Tullahoma).

    Lots of really excellent rides. You might want to move to Chattanooga instead and just drive over to Nashville to visit the friends...

  13. #13
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    thanks for all of this. if we do this move, it isn't about mtn biking but about doing something fun with our life. i'm an older guy whose kids are all out of the house so we have some more flexibility. i'm also very concerned that california is going down the tubes, and in the meantime saving on state income taxes (now up to 13.3% in california) will save me a ton of money if we can establish residence in tn. the plan would be to probably keep a small house in norcal and a small house in nashville, the combination of which probably would cost the same or less than the bigger, mostly empty, house we have had for quite a while in norcal. that way we could establish a residence in nashville while keeping a home in norcal and would split our time...sounds like july and august would be great times not to be in nashville!!

    we are just thinking about all of this, but the housing stock in nashville, while not dirt cheap, looks interesting. the area we like best is the belmont section near where my wife's brother has lived for 35 years. walk to bars/restaurants, near vanderbilt, etc.

    as for work, i'm unfortunately in a dying business--finance, although i've also done some work in renewable energy and hard commodities businesses. we have savings so i'd probably spend time looking for work but wouldn't worry about not working for some time. these days you can work out of just about anywhere so hopefully that would help.

    thanks again for all of the advice. it sounds like there would be sufficient trails for mtn biking and hiking to be of interest. i'm also a pretty serious amateur photographer, and there seem to be a lot of wildlife refuges in the state as well. so we'll see how 'negotiations' go.

  14. #14
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    I'm in a Panera in Belmont right now Let me know what you think of this: Home | eco-energy - the CEO is a friend of mine. Don't know if and how you'd fit, but there are companies like that here too.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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