Watch out! National Bike Week is here! From May 13-19, this nationwide, week-long holiday encourages workers to bike to work and everyone to give cycling a chance. For a little twist, instead of biking to the same building you see every work day, how about biking through the most visited national park in the country? Serene waterfalls, frolicking wildlife, and stunning mountain views are waiting for you on your cycling journey in the Great Smoky Mountains. To help, we’ve put together a Smoky Mountain bike ride guide for YOU — let’s make a gearchange (yeah, we couldn’t resist) together!
Bike-Friendly Rides in the Smokies
Grab your bike gear and put the petal to the trail on an adventure through the Smokies with these bike-friendly rides.
- Cades Cove Loop | This popular paved, 11-mile road loops around Cades Cove, a lush valley area brimming with wildlife and natural beauty. Along the ride, you’ll also see historic churches, mills, and cabins. There are even hiking trails, including one leading to the gorgeous Abrams Falls, perfect for a bike break. Cars are required to drive slow no matter the time of day, and May – November on Wednesdays and Saturdays, no motor vehicles are allowed until 10:00 a.m. Happy cycling!
- Gatlinburg Trail | One of 2 walking paths that allow bicycles in the national park, the Gatlinburg Trail is relatively flat and about 4 miles roundtrip stretching from the outskirts of Gatlinburg to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. As you cycle, keep an eye out for pleasant river views and remnants of historic homes. The best part about this trail is it’s also pet-friendly, perfect for active furry friends who’ll happily run alongside while you bike!
- Greenbrier | Gravel and 6 miles long, the Greenbrier route is considered leisurely yet may be a little tough for some. With nature all around — be they spring wildflowers or fall leaves — this path leads to the Ramsey Cascade trailhead, where you can hike to a breathtaking waterfall scene. A picnic area also rests along the road, giving you a nice place to stop for a bite and refuel for the next part of your biking journey.
- Riverwalk Greenway | Traveling alongside the east bank of the Little Pigeon River, the 4-mile, paved Riverwalk Greenway ride is great for family cycling — lovely views, tranquil trees, and the lively river await! The trail connects 2 sides of Pigeon Forge, making a convenient location for shopping and meals. And when you need to take a break, unwind on one of the many benches down the trail. There are multiple entrances as well: Patriot Park, Butler Street at Ashley, and Jake Thomas Road.
Bike Rental Shops
Feel free to bring your own bike or grab a rental for your Great Smoky Mountain cycling journey!
Cades Cove Campground Store and Bike Rental
10035 Campground Drive
Townsend, TN 37882
$5-8/hour (basic rentals)
Bike the Smokies
3726 East Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$16-90/hour (basic and electric rentals)
While biking through the Smokies, remember safety comes first for you and your companions as well as the wildlife and surrounding areas. Check out our top cycling tips to stay safe below!
- Animals have the right of way. Approaching them is a big no-no.
- Ride with traffic, not against oncoming vehicles.
- Always wear a helmet and be prepared to brake!
- Headphones are not a great idea…in fact, it’s pretty dangerous.
- Reflective gear is a must at night.
- Be highly aware of your surroundings and make sure everyone is aware of you!
- If you bring it in the national park, then you bring it out.
- Steep hills? Walk your bike down.
- Never leave the trail; stay on the path.
Where to Stay
At the end of each bike day, a cozy, relaxing, and comfy place to stay will be just what you need! Cabins for YOU offers a wide range of options, from 1-16 bedrooms and budget-friendly to luxury. Opt for a soothing hot tub soak on deck or splashes in your private indoor pool. Watch a comedy in the home theater or shoot pool in the rec room. Sip morning coffee by a sparkling river or among mountain peaks. Fill out our Options for YOU form online with your preferences, and we’ll send available cabins straight to your inbox! Or give us a call today at 1.800.684.7865 — we’d be happy to help plan your biking trip in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, TN!
Cheers to National Bike Week 2019 — book your cabin, bring your bike (or grab a rental), and cycle the Great Smoky Mountains with family and friends!