smoky mountain motorcycle ride
June 26, 2024

The Smoky Mountains are a fantastic destination for motorcyclists, as you’ll find plenty of scenic roads to explore throughout the area! Some of the area’s most breathtaking rides include the Foothills Parkway, Newfound Gap Road, and the iconic Tail of the Dragon, which features 318 curves within just 11 miles of twisting road! Before heading out on your Harley, you’ll want to use some extra precautions while cruising through the Smokies! Here are the top 4 tips for staying safe on your Smoky Mountain motorcycle ride:

1. Wear Bright Clothing and a Helmet

motorcycle drive in the smokies

When gearing up for your ride, wear brightly colored clothing or jackets to increase your visibility to other motorists! Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country and can attract a high number of vehicles during peak periods. Many drivers are unfamiliar with the roads and may be looking for scenic turn-offs, wildlife viewing opportunities, and more. Therefore, you’ll want to use extra caution to make yourself seen! Remember that helmets are mandatory in Tennessee, so always wear an approved motorcycle safety helmet.

2. Be Aware of Road Surfaces

Another one of the top tips for staying safe on your Smoky Mountain motorcycle ride is being aware of road surfaces for oil spots, debris, and other hazards. Since the roads throughout the Smokies are surrounded by forest, thunderstorms, wind, and other weather conditions can cause tree limbs and loose rocks to fall onto the road. If you are visiting the Smokies during the winter, you’ll not only want to be aware of snow and ice but also the gravel or sand that is applied on the roads for traction. Every year, park rangers investigate many motorcycle accidents, so always maintain the speed limit and pay extra caution to the current road conditions!

3. Watch for Wildlife at the Forest Edge

bear crossing

One of the most exciting things to see during a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is wildlife, and many folks hope to see a bear when they are in the park! While this can be an amazing opportunity, this can also be a major hazard to drivers. While riding your motorcycle, keep a careful watch on the forest edge for any wildlife, as animals can be unpredictable and dart out from forest edges!

4. Secure Your Bike and Valuables When Hiking

In addition to your personal safety, you’ll want to make sure you secure your bike and valuables when hiking, stopping to explore visitor centers, etc. Consider bringing a small daypack to carry your valuables while exploring the hiking trails, which also comes in handy for trail maps, water bottles, and other essentials. While theft from vehicles is not typically an issue in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there have been incidents in the past, so always use common sense!

Now that you know how to stay safe on your Smoky Mountain motorcycle ride, you’re ready to hit the scenic roads throughout the Smokies! Wondering about the best places to explore? Check out these top 4 motorcycle rides in the Smoky Mountains!