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Bicycle-Friendly Places In The Great Smoky Mountains

Posted by Leif Palmer in Things to Do

If you're like the late great Freddie Mercury and just want to ride your bi-cy-cle, you might want to consider bringing your favorite two-wheeler along with you on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Biking is a fantastic way to see the sights of the Smokies while also enjoying the fresh air and immersing yourself in the beauty of our region. Like walking does, bicycling allows you to see things you might not otherwise notice behind the wheel of a car.

This week, we'd like to share a few ideas for places you can ride that are safe and, depending on when you visit, free of auto traffic.

Bike in Cades Cove, TN

Cades Cove – This once-thriving community inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park stands today as a preserved slice of life from the turn of the 20th century. The 11-mile one-way auto loop is closed to car traffic until 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays from early May to late September, so you can travel at your own pace without having to keep an eye on those pesky four-wheeled vehicles.

Along the way, you'll encounter vast, rolling meadows, majestic mountains, hiking trails, deer and other wildlife, and preserved structures from yesteryear such as churches and homesteads. If you visit later in the day, you can pack a picnic meal and pull over to enjoy the peace and quiet of the cove in the location of your choosing.

If you don't want to travel with your own bicycles, you can rent bikes by the hour from a vendor located at the Cades Cove Picnic Area store. You can also stock up on snacks, drinks and other provisions at the store before beginning your journey.

Townsend Greenway – Not far from Cades Cove, you'll find the peaceful mountain town of Townsend, which features a greenway that runs the entire length of the town (five miles) on both sides of the highway. So you actually have nearly a 10-mile route to explore. The greenway ranges from flat and level to robustly rolling, but it's all easily manageable by bicycle.

The path takes you along a wide selection of shops, restaurants and attractions, including the Little River Railroad Museum and the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, both of which are heavily steeped in the history of the region, from Native American inhabitants to white settlers to the Little River Lumber Company and the formation of the national park. Also note that Townsend is only about a 10-minute drive from Wears Valley, Tennessee, where most of our cabins in the Smoky Mountains located.

Sevierville Memorial River Greenway – This riverside park features a two-mile trail that runs alongside the banks of the Little Pigeon River. It features beautiful landscaping and connects with Paine Memorial Park, which features picnic tables and a gazebo. Numerous benches line the trail, and those who travel it can enjoy views of migratory birds and other waterfowl. The trail connects to Sevierville City Park, which has its own half-mile-long trail that runs along the park perimeter.

Pigeon Forge Riverwalk Greenway – With entrances at Patriot Park, Butler Street (at Ashley) and Jake Thomas Road, Pigeon Forge's Riverwalk Greenway is a beautiful two-mile route to walk, run or ride your bike

Leif Palmer - Smokies blogger

About Leif Palmer

Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.


This content posted by Smokies Travel Guide. Visit our home page, smokiestravelguide.com for more information on the Smoky Mountain area.

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