Already know where you want to stay for your biking adventure?
Scenic destinations and slow speed limits make state parks a great choice for a family biking trip. Mountain biking the wild trails of Tennessee State Parks, cruising on paved park roads, or exploring neighboring country roads make for some great two-wheeled bicycle adventures.
No matter your choice, remember to always ride in control, bring a map with you, plenty of water, extra snacks and bike repair equipment. Consider wearing reflective clothing and lights to help motorists see you, and always wear your helmet.
Tennessee State Park Trail Ratings
To help you plan your next cycling adventure in a Tennessee State Park, we have provided the list below offering details of trail difficulty, surface type, and available mileage. These ratings do not address the trail length. Remember to always wear your helmet regardless of trail difficulty.
An easy trail requiring basic riding skills. Terrain may be varied in composition but will have no steep grades, ledges, or ruts. An example might be a flat unpaved jeep road or a flat paved road.
A trail requiring off-road riding experience and more advanced technical skill (for mountain bikers), or a paved road with moderately steep grades (for road bikers). Off-road terrain may have ruts and/or small ledges that may require dismounts, depending on skill level. An example might be a single- or double-track trail in rolling terrain with water bars or ruts.
A trail requiring expert-level riding skills to traverse potentially hazardous conditions (for mountain bikers) or a paved road with very steep grades. An example might be a single-track trail with steep climbs, very rocky terrain, water crossings, and unexpected drop-offs.
Many state parks offer outstanding dedicated mountain biking trails, and mountain bikes are welcome on designated segments of multiple use trails at a number of state parks.
Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee
Tennessee State Parks is the host of the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee bike riding tour. This annual event is a week long excursion through a different part of Tennessee each year. Riders are treated to the beautiful Tennessee landscapes from the vantage point of a bicycle as they travel between Tennessee State Parks. The ride includes meals, campsites, and a fully supported route. The 2019 Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee takes place on September 14th - 19th. This ride will offer out and back rides daily with 3 days spent at Natchez Trace State Park and 3 days spent at Montgomery Bell State Park. More information is available at: www.thebrat.org.
For riders who are interested in a shorter bike tour, Tennessee State Parks also hosts two weekend rides: Horton 100 and Paris Century. The Horton 100 takes place each year at Henry Horton State Park in the spring, which also includes meals, campsites, and a fully supported route. The 2019 Horton 100 will take place on April 27th - 28th. The Paris Century takes place each year at Paris Landing State Park in the fall, which also includes meals, campsites, and a fully supported route.
For more information, please contact the Ride Director at Heather.Spiva@tn.gov or 615-306-0611.
Bicycle Tourist Camping
In an effort to promote the use of Tennessee State Parks by touring bicyclists, park managers of state parks that provide overnight camping and associated support facilities are to designate an area in which ride-in bicyclists can camp when all other established campsites are fully occupied. Unlike other campers using recreational vehicles and vehicles with tents, bicyclists travel long distances, carrying their gear with no vehicular support. While all campers are encouraged to make advance reservations, bicyclists sometimes do not make advance reservations or are unable to do so based on the circumstances of their ride, and the existing campground is fully occupied upon the bicyclist’s arrival.
Must Ride Places in Tennessee State Parks
Serious cyclists are encouraged to ride the many great mountain bike trails at Montgomery Bell State Park. This series of trails was constructed with only mountain biking at mind. If you just bought your first bike or you are an avid mountain biker Montgomery Bell has a trail for you!
- Though traffic is light, some major park roads have speed limits of 35 mph or greater. Be alert and courteous, and obey traffic laws.
- State law requires helmets for anyone sixteen or under if they are on a state highway, street or roadway, which includes parks.
- Be on the lookout for horseback riders or hikers when mountain biking on multi-use trails.
- Teach young children to pull over and stop when a car or camper approaches while bicycling on campground roads.
- Cyclists are advised to be extra cautious during hunting seasons.