Tennessee Rides / Hills

I will be in Tennessee in July for a week, dropping my kids off at a camp. I decided to stay up there and ride my bike. Anyone have suggestions on where to ride? I would like some mountains or hills to climb. The camp is centrally located in Tennessee, but am willing to drive to other areas. I have thought about driving another four to five hours to North Carolina and riding there, but not sure all of that driving is worth it.


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The Cherohala Skyway on the border of TN and SC is absolutely incredible, but sounds like it’s likely pretty far from where you’re at.


I have several friends who rode Hincapie Chattanooga last weekend and raved about riding in the area.

If you go to NC, Asheville is beautiful. You could check out the Biltmore too while you’re there.

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A buddy of mine is doing a week long cycling vacation in TN. Day 1 was the Natchez Trace Parkway.

What does central Tennessee mean (no intention of being snarky)? If central means Nashville area then you can get plenty of hills on the Natchez Trace and relatively safe riding and still be close to enjoying Nashville. If central means Crossville/Cookeville you have multiple options that include heading to the SE part of the state where you could base out of Maryville and ride the skyway, look rock, and plenty of other “hills” to your hearts content. Really depends on how hilly you want and how far far you actually want to drive away. No real need to go to NC

Edit: you can also head north towards the Big South Fork area and climb non stop in a very desolate area (I used to have a couple of clients - public accounting - along the KY border and those roads are lonely).

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I drop the kids off in Crossville, but I can drive to Nashville or another part of the state. I was thinking of driving to two different areas and staying in that area for 2/3 days and driving to another part for 2/3 days. I drop them off on a Sunday and pick them up on Saturday (I think), could be Friday.

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All of this. See if there are routes on ride with gps that interest you. I went to college in cookeville a while ago and there are tons of great roads with little traffic, lots of rolling hills around in the area.

Come to Knoxville and ride, we have incredible roads. The foothills parkway is like a mini Blue ridge parkway, incredible road with solid climbs (longest is 25 min full gas), and then theres plenty more rad climbs all around. Butterfly gap, montvale, happy valley, old cades, bates mountain and if you’re willing to get up at dawn you can ride new found gap road up to clingmans dome (got to go super early to beat tourist traffic) Cherohala skyway is good, but if you want to do a loop with it you’re looking at a century.
Nashville has fun riding, but its mostly rollers, to me Natchez trace gets boring after about two hours in…

Chatt has good riding too

Need i say more:

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you really can’t go wrong wherever you decide to go. Crossville is in the middle of nowhere which sounds amazing.

That said, outside knoxville has a lot of riding if you want better dinner options after or something else to do.

Cherohala skyway is OK but cars can be rolling kinda quickly on it at times; I’ve only done it once but wasn’t my favorite.

Chattanooga has endless hills and a very cool city…I’d vote for there if you decide to get mobile with things.

Strava is your best bet for routes

Enjoy the trip!