Best trails near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AaronJobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    910

    Best trails near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Hi, my daughters have a dance competition in July and I was wanting to bring my bike with me but not sure where the good trails are near Pigeon Forge, Tn. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    591
    As far as I know, there's not much in that area as far as MTB goes. Your best bet may be to drive ~1hr to Cherokee and ride Fire Mountain. Pretty awesome trail system...if you want something more XC oriented with nice views, Tsali is worth checking out.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    There is nothing in the immediate area but Knoxville isn't too far from Pigeon Forge. It would be a 45min to 1hr drive to the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness Trail system. There is much to explore there. It's a straight shot out of that area up Hwy 441, known locally as Chapman Highway. Tsali would be roughly 1.5hr drive, also a pretty healthy system. Panther Creek in Morristown would be a similar drive time wise as Knoxville. It's a much smaller trail system. Other opportunities available if you're willing to drive a bit more.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mikeridesabike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,025
    Not MTB, but the Cades Cove road loop at GSMNP is a really pretty road ride of about 11 miles. I seem to recall that they shut it down for car access once or twice a week.

    https://smokymountains.com/park/cade.../scenic-drive/
    Friends don let friends ride road bikes.
    http://www.facebook.com/mikebmiller

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Not MTB, but the Cades Cove road loop at GSMNP is a really pretty road ride of about 11 miles. I seem to recall that they shut it down for car access once or twice a week.

    https://smokymountains.com/park/cade.../scenic-drive/
    Cades Cove has traditionally been closed to auto traffic Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10am, starting in the Spring and running through early Fall. Certainly not proper trail riding as stated, but climbing up and over Rich Mountain from Townsend and descending into the cove and looping it (or a partial loop using one of the dirt road short cuts - it's one way traffic) is a good way to get in a nice climb with some scenery and not deal with long drive in and the Cades Cove chaos if during auto hours. I do this pretty regularly on a gravel bike but have ridden on mountain bikes as well. It's graded well enough but during that time of year it will have one way car traffic (heading out to Townsend), though it doesn't see a whole lot. Most people seem content to get stuck in the loop for hours on end with "bear jams". I just don't have the patience for that in a car. A bike is a far better way to see it in my opinion and the cars crawl through so it's not really a problem to ride during auto hours, it just takes away from an otherwise peaceful experience. You can also drive up the road till the one way begins where there is a small parking lot. This will cut off a significant portion of the climb (the paved portion). I often see bears on Rich Mountain too, probably 25-30% of the time.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AaronJobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    910
    So should I bring my cyclocross bike with light aggressive knobbies or a heavy duty road style tire

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    61
    For Rich Mtn road, go cx with the light knobbies. Be advised that Rich Mtn road is one way (from Cades Cove loop to Townsend). I have heard of people being forced to turn around by park rangers. I've met them a couple of times and they gave me grief, but they let me go thru each time. That doesn't keep me from doing that ride a couple of times a year. And it's extra special doing that ride at night during a full moon. Bears are as common as Mtb7000 said. And I've seen rattlesnakes on that road twice.

    If you can only bring one bike, I would recommend bringing the MTB and hitting the spots in Knoxville. And if you're willing to drive an extra half hour, there are probably more than a dozen good choices to ride.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by AaronJobe View Post
    So should I bring my cyclocross bike with light aggressive knobbies or a heavy duty road style tire
    I've run both with success but my personal preference would be a mixed surface knobby. I am currently running Panaracer GravelKing SK 38c's tubeless on my Fuji Jari and would say they are about the perfect mix for this type of ride. I rode it a couple of weeks ago and with all of the rain we've had, and no recent grading of the gravel, it was a little washed out in some areas. I'm sure it will get a regrade in preparation for the road re-opening this Spring, and by July it should see enough traffic to compact it down.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by Roge View Post
    For Rich Mtn road, go cx with the light knobbies. Be advised that Rich Mtn road is one way (from Cades Cove loop to Townsend). I have heard of people being forced to turn around by park rangers. I've met them a couple of times and they gave me grief, but they let me go thru each time. That doesn't keep me from doing that ride a couple of times a year. And it's extra special doing that ride at night during a full moon. Bears are as common as Mtb7000 said. And I've seen rattlesnakes on that road twice.

    If you can only bring one bike, I would recommend bringing the MTB and hitting the spots in Knoxville. And if you're willing to drive an extra half hour, there are probably more than a dozen good choices to ride.
    I guess I've been fortunate, I've never seen a park ranger on Rich Mountain in my 15 years riding it (I probably just cursed myself). I second the suggestions Roge made on the full moon ride and bike choice if you are only able to bring one and have multiple opportunities to ride.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AaronJobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    910
    Thanks for the info! I will bring both bikes. Should I bring bear spray?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by AaronJobe View Post
    Thanks for the info! I will bring both bikes. Should I bring bear spray?
    I wouldn't go out of my way to get bear spray and bring it along, but I suppose it's a reality. I've had two close encounters with bears there on Rich Mtn - both times found myself within twenty feet of a bear, once a cub with momma. But neither incident turned out to be anything traumatic.

    Last year, I failed to ride Rich Mtn for the first time in probably 15 years. We did set out to do it once, but were turned back. Evidently some guy hunting ginseng had a heart attack, and a bear was scavenging around his corpse. (The bear did not kill the individual). As we were riding up the paved portion from Townsend to the park entrance, we saw three trucks pass us with huge traps. One of the guys said they had put out an elk carcass as bait.

    https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/Mys...493531621.html

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    696
    You could check this place out in Gattlinburg. https://www.climbworks.com/smoky_mou...untain_biking/

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by 202cycle View Post
    You could check this place out in Gattlinburg. https://www.climbworks.com/smoky_mou...untain_biking/
    My wife's family often gets together for Easter at a cabin in the area. One year the cabin was within a quarter mile of Climbworks and I brought my mountain bike along. The guy working the bike area was very nice and being that I had my own bike, I just signed a waiver and did a few laps with him, no charge. It was end of the day so likely just a chance encounter, I didn't and wouldn't expect that and it was very generous. It did have the most massive wooden structure I've ever seen on a trail, but it is not a riding location. I want to say the pass was around $25 bringing your own bike, just FYI. It definitely seemed geared towards people already there for other parts of their business who would rent a bike and get in a quick loop to try something new (it's a 1 mile loop). I don't want to be overly negative, just trying to provide honest feedback, and certainly don't want to knock their business, but it is definitely not a proper riding spot, it's a spectacle, akin to zip-lining or the like, just on a smaller scale. If you're looking for that type of thing, I was impressed with their service and the people zipping through the woods seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by AaronJobe View Post
    Thanks for the info! I will bring both bikes. Should I bring bear spray?
    In addition to seeing wildlife while riding, I regularly see bears while hiking, backpacking, and fishing in the park. I've never really felt the need to have bear spray and don't own any. Like Roge, I've had some encounters that were a little close for comfort, mother and cubs coming through the river while fishing, bears coming through backcountry campsite at night, etc. I've always thought of them as opportunistic, and only aggressive in certain or rare circumstances. If I'm solo I do the sing or ring a bar bell in blind corners or areas that seem like a good spot for a bear. I guess it comes down to what you're most comfortable with, no wrong answer.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sgtjim57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    655
    This looks interesting, almost enough so I might make a go of it sometime.
    2017 Cannondale Scalpel Si Carbon 3 (27.5)

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtjim57 View Post
    This looks interesting, almost enough so I might make a go of it sometime.
    If you have interest in a bigger ride, you can include Parsons Branch and make a loop of it. I don't see or hear much on it these days, but I've always heard it referred to as the Heinous Loop. I've never done the full loop, but have ridden the majority of the sections at one time or another. Riding the section of the Tail of the Dragon on 129 scares me off every time I consider (one of the sections I've not ridden), but I do want to make it happen someday. Last Fall when I was on Parsons, it was in pretty rough shape a lot of deep/loose gravel. It's been shut down to automobiles for a while due to tree issues.

    I don't know this fellow, but a quick search netted me this find on the Heinous Loop...
    https://www.strava.com/activities/48834144

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtb7000 View Post
    In addition to seeing wildlife while riding, I regularly see bears while hiking, backpacking, and fishing in the park. I've never really felt the need to have bear spray and don't own any. Like Roge, I've had some encounters that were a little close for comfort, mother and cubs coming through the river while fishing, bears coming through backcountry campsite at night, etc. I've always thought of them as opportunistic, and only aggressive in certain or rare circumstances. If I'm solo I do the sing or ring a bar bell in blind corners or areas that seem like a good spot for a bear. I guess it comes down to what you're most comfortable with, no wrong answer.
    Woot! I took the day off and rode Rich Mtn today. Had my second closest bear encounter in my life, going on a slightly downhill section after cresting a hill, and there's one on the side of the road and I'm on the right side of the road, less than 15 feet from him. I saw him at last minute and just kept pedaling my pace which was about 10 mph at that moment. We eyeballed each other but he was more interested in the food he was foraging. Saw another one on the loop and there were two other sightings that were gathering crowds but we didn't stop for those.

Similar Threads

  1. Looking for trail info near Knoxville/Gatilinburg/Pigeon Forge
    By TonyB. in forum Southeast/Midsouth - GA, TN, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-17-2013, 06:36 PM
  2. Trails near Gatlinberg/Pigeon Forge area?
    By Cucucachu in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-06-2012, 09:09 PM
  3. Help! Best Trail System near Pigeon Forge ??
    By Climb-n-Bomb in forum Southeast/Midsouth - GA, TN, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-24-2007, 08:47 AM
  4. Any trails near Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg??
    By singletrackpursuits in forum Southeast/Midsouth - GA, TN, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-13-2007, 05:21 AM
  5. Honeymooning near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Where to ride?
    By joshm8979 in forum Southeast/Midsouth - GA, TN, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-22-2006, 12:55 PM

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.