Photo by Don McGowan courtesy of Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Bicycles can travel on most roads within the park. However, due to steep terrain, narrow road surfaces, and heavy automobile traffic, many park roads are not well suited for safe and enjoyable bicycle riding.
Cades Cove Loop Road is an exception. The 11-mile one way road, is a popular bicycling area. It provides bicyclists with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and touring 19th century homesites. During summer and fall, bicycles may be rented at the Cades Cove Campground Store (located near Cades Cove Campground). For information call (865) 448-9034.
Other areas suitable for bicyclists include the roads in the Greenbrier and Tremont areas in Tennessee, and the Cataloochee Valley and Lakeview Drive in North Carolina. Cyclists may also traverse unfinished portions of the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee. Download a park map to locate these areas.
There are no mountain biking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Gatlinburg Trail, the Oconaluftee River Trail, and the lower Deep Creek Trail are the only park trails on which bicycles are allowed. Bicycles are prohibited on all other park trails.
Chattahoochee National Forest (770) 297-3000
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.
Did You Know?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls.