Best Mountain Biking Trails in Tennessee

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Nestled in the heart of the southeastern U.S, Tennessee is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure in the great outdoors. The state boasts many hiking and mountain biking trails that delight even the most seasoned adventurers with its picturesque landscapes, stunning views, and rugged terrain.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for a challenging trail or a beginner seeking a scenic and leisurely ride, Tennessee’s mountain bike trails have something for everyone. This guide will highlight some of the most popular mountain biking trails you can find here.

From the Raccoon mtb trail network to the Bakers Creek Preserve trails in Knoxville, these trails offer diverse challenges and experiences to riders of all skill levels. So, grab your bike, strap on your helmet, and get ready to explore some of the best trails in the country!

1.   Technical View Park Trail

The Technical View Park Trail is a thrilling mountain biking experience that should not be missed by any avid biker. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, this trail is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. With its technical features, challenging terrain, and various obstacles, this trail is perfect for experienced riders looking for a new challenge.

The trail boasts a variety of obstacles, including rocks, roots, drops, and steep climbs, which will keep you on your toes throughout the ride. You’ll also encounter tight turns and switchbacks that require precise handling and control. However, the challenge is well worth it as you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

One of the best things about the Technical View Park Trail is its accessibility. The trail is just a few miles from downtown Maryville, making it an easy and convenient destination for riders in Knoxville and the surrounding areas. The trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride for all.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled ride with breathtaking views, the Technical View Park Trail is a must-visit destination. With its challenging terrain and accessibility, this trail is sure to become a favorite among experienced riders.

2.   The Raccoon Mountain Trail Network

The Raccoon Mountain Trail Network is a popular mountain biking destination in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This trail network is on Raccoon Mountain, a massive ridge overlooking the Tennessee River. It features several loops, each with its unique challenges.

The network is known for its challenging trails, stunning views, and well-maintained facilities. Its trail system has over 30 miles of singletrack trails, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. The most popular trail is the Live Wire Loop, a 10-mile loop that takes riders up and down the mountain, with plenty of technical features and stunning views.

However, you can also try the Switchyard Loop, which offers challenging climbs and descents, or the Chunky Loop, which features rocky terrain and steep drops. Overall, the Raccoon Mountain Trail Network is a must-visit destination for mountain biking in Tennessee. Its challenging terrain, stunning views, and excellent facilities will offer you with an unforgettable mountain biking experience in the Southeastern U.S.

3.   Ijams Nature Center

Ijams Nature Center, situated in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary and urban wilderness that allows visitors to explore nature and engage in outdoor activities within the city limits. Families, outdoor enthusiasts, and nature lovers frequently visit the center to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors without traveling too far from the city.

The park features over 12 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and meadows. One of the best things about the Ijams Nature Center is that the trails here cater to all skill levels, from easy beginner trails to more challenging ones for experienced hikers and riders.

In addition to hiking and mountain biking, the park provides a range of outdoor activities such as bird watching, rock climbing, and zip-lining. Besides, the Mead’s Quarry Lake, located within the park allows visitors to rent canoes and kayaks for water exploration. Try some of the best trails here and explore Knoxville’s unforgettable urban wilderness.

4.   Cherokee National Forest Trails

Located in the heart of Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its over 600 miles of mountain biking trails. Among these, the Tanasi Trail System is the most popular, with over 30 miles catering to riders of all skill levels. The highlight of this trail system is the “Thunder Rock Express” section—a technical and challenging trail with a notorious rock garden feature.

Negotiating the rock garden requires expert technical skills, balance, and focus. Experienced riders will relish the challenge of this section, considered one of the most demanding features in the Tanasi Trail System.

The Cherokee National Forest is also home to the Ocoee Whitewater Center, offering over 20 miles of trails winding through the mountains. The trails provide breathtaking views of the Ocoee River and the surrounding landscape, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

5.   Haw Ridge Trail

Haw Ridge Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its scenic location on a peninsula along the Clinch River between Knoxville and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The almost 30 miles of singletrack and dirt road trails at Haw Ridge Park suit beginner and advanced riders.

The trails are well-maintained and marked and offer a variety of terrain, from smooth and flowy to technical and rocky. This makes it a great destination for riders looking to improve their skills or test their abilities on more challenging trails.

For those looking for a more leisurely ride, the Melton Lake Greenway provides 14 miles of paved trailway along Melton Hill Lake and Haw Ridge Park. The Greenway is perfect for riders of all abilities and offers stunning views of the mountains and the Clinch River.

In addition to mountain biking, the park offers a wide range of water and land-based recreational activities, making it a popular destination for families and groups. Overall, this is a must-visit destination if you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors in Tennessee.

6.   Cane Ridge

Cane Ridge is a mountain biking hotspot in Antioch, Tennessee, boasting over 10 miles of trails. The park’s mostly singletrack terrain features rocky sections, short climbs, and descents, adding to the ride’s thrill. Trails here wind through lush woods, providing an immersive nature experience in the heart of a bustling urban area.

One of the best things about the Cane Ridge trails is that they suit riders of all skill levels. You’ll find beginner, intermediate, and challenging trails that are well-maintained and marked, providing riders with clear navigation through the park.

Besides mountain biking, Cane Ridge offers a range of other outdoor recreational activities, including hiking and horseback riding. The park also has a disc golf course, playground, and picnic areas, making it an excellent spot for families and groups to enjoy.

Cane Ridge’s beautiful scenery, well-maintained trails, and range of activities make it an ideal location for mountain biking enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts. The twists and turns on the trail offer a unique experience for beginners to get the hang of mountain biking, while advanced riders can challenge themselves by maintaining speed through the turns.

7.   Trails in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

This is a nature lover’s paradise in Oneida and a dream destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. The area boats over 150 miles of trails catering to all skill levels—beginners and advanced riders will find a trail that suits their needs and biking preferences. Families with children are also catered to, with trails designed specifically for them.

The scenery at Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is breathtaking. From the stunning views of the Big South Fork River to the surrounding mountains, you’re guaranteed a unique and immersive outdoor experience.

The park is open throughout the year, and each season offers a different experience for visitors. However, trail conditions may vary depending on where want to ride specifically. So, pack appropriate gear and check trail conditions when planning your Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area trip.

Overall, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts who love a challenge and want to experience the beauty of the great outdoors. With so many trails and stunning scenery at every turn, it’s a must-visit destination for any mountain biker in Tennessee.

8.   Bakers Creek Preserve – Knoxville

Located in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, just three miles from downtown, Baker Creek is a top outdoor destination for families and adventurers. The park offers plenty of conveniences, including ample parking, a kid’s adventure play area, and a bicycle pumps track and loop.

Baker Creek features five multi-use trails and three downhill mountain bike trails with varying difficulty levels. These trails connect to 42 miles of Urban Wilderness trails, providing riders with many options. The park’s most challenging trail is Devil’s Racetrack, the region’s only double-black diamond downhill trail. Expert riders are drawn to this trail because of its intense gaps and drops.

Overall, Bakers Creek Preserve is a great destination for mountain bikers due to the variety of trails it offers. The park also has beginner-friendly trails that are perfect for riders just starting and more challenging trails for experienced riders looking for a more technical experience.

Final Thoughts

Tennessee is a must-visit destination if you’re looking for spectacular mountain biking trails that cater to all skill levels. Its unique landscape provides a memorable experience, whether looking for challenging and technical trails in the Cherokee National Forest or  multi-use trails in Bakers Creek Preserve. Want to try something new? Take your bike and head to Tennessee for an adventure through the mountains!