2 bicycles on the road in cades cove
January 5, 2023

Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can explore its natural beauty in a couple of ways. They can go on foot and take advantage of the over 800 miles of hiking trails. On the other hand, visitors who don’t prefer hiking can enjoy the views from the comfort of their own vehicle on the motor trails. If you want a different experience, you’ll be excited to know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is planning on making it easier for visitors to explore the area in another way. With that being said, read about all the details of the new mountain biking plan in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Why is the Plan Being Put Into Place?


Out of the more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, only 8 miles are designated for biking. With that being said, the park officials want to add biking trails in an attempt to increase recreational opportunities in the park. Biking is a great activity for people of all ages. Unlike hiking, you will not have to worry about maintaining your balance on rough terrain. You also won’t have to worry about your feet getting tired. You can simply glide along on your bike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It may also help visitors save money on gas, as they are not using their vehicles to get around the park.

Where Are the Trails Going to Be Located?

According to the plan, the new bike trail system in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will total 11.8 miles and be located along the Wears Valley portion of the Foothills Parkway Section 8D. As for the types of trails, there will be 4.2 miles of easy trail, 2.9 miles of moderate trail, and 4.7 miles of advanced trail. This variety ensures that the trails will be suited for all types of visitors. For instance, the easy trails are great for families with young children, and the moderate trails are ideal for visitors who may want a fun and rewarding workout. Along with the bike trails, the plan also includes 2.3 miles of pedestrian only trails. Even if you don’t want to bring a bike with you, this will still be a fun and leisurely way to enjoy the park.

What Are Some of the Other Features on the Bike Trails?

bicyclist riding through Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains

Along with the trails themselves, the park officials are planning to have a variety of amenities available to visitors at the trailhead. These amenities include a bike wash and repair station. You can make sure your bike is good to go for the ride ahead. There will also be restrooms and a picnic area. This will allow visitors to have a comfortable place to enjoy a hearty meal before or after their biking adventures.

Will Construction of the Biking System Impact the Environment?

One of the reasons why visitors love coming to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is because of the natural beauty. With that being said, it is reasonable to question whether or not the construction of the bike system will impact the environment. After all, we want the park to stay beautiful for years to come. Additionally, we don’t want to disturb the abundant wildlife that call the park home. Fortunately, the park officials conducted an environmental assessment, and it was concluded that the construction of the bike system will have no significant impact on the environment!

The bike trail system will be an exciting new addition to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For more information, read over all the current guidelines for bicycling in the park!