With the backdrop of the scenic Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to log some quality time in the great outdoors. Soaring mountains, dipping valleys, blooming wildflowers, lush, wooded forests, rushing waterfalls, flowing streams, stirring wildlife…these are just a few of the things you’ll see while enjoying your natural surroundings in the Smokies. And one of the best ways to take it all in is by bicycle! Pigeon Forge offers many great bike trails for everyone from beginners to pros, providing tons of opportunities to see nature from a new perspective. Every trail offers something different, and each has its own challenges. Some are flat, easy, or short, while others are steep, difficult, and run for several miles. As you plan your outdoor time during your Smoky Mountain Vacation, be sure to put some of these Pigeon Forge bike trails on your list.
Cades Cove Loop Road
This 11-mile one-way road is one of the most popular outdoor tourist attractions in the area, home to historic homes and buildings, various wildlife, peaceful streams, beautiful mountain scenery, vivid wildflowers, expansive pastures, and more. The Cades Cove Loop Road is an easy ride for experienced road bikers, but it’s also appropriate for intermediate riders and some beginners. From early May to late September, Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motor vehicle traffic on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m., allowing bicyclists to enjoy the ride without worrying about cars. For those who didn’t travel with their own bikes, the Cades Cove store rents bicycles during summer and fall. The ride is a scenic one, but be prepared for several challenging hills along the way.
Townsend Bicycle Trail
The Townsend Bicycle Trail in Pigeon Forge is a three-mile trail that’s great for cyclists of all skill levels, including kids. The paved trail features several hills, but the asphalt makes for an easier ride. The trail runs alongside Highway 321, so if you want a short break, you’ll pass the visitor center on your ride. As you bike along the Townsend Bicycle Trail, enjoy beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains and the Little River. Along with the nice scenery, the trail will take you past lots of Pigeon Forge restaurants and shops. You can stop for some ice cream or a drink, grab a bite to eat before hitting the trail again, or even pick up any biking gear you may have forgotten. It’s a great ride for those wanting to have the best of both worlds – the natural surroundings of the Smokies and the commercial excitement of Pigeon Forge.
As you set off on a biking expedition in the Smokies, remember that there are no mountain biking trails within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can ride along some roads in the park, but many of the great biking trails are located in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas.
A more challenging ride between US 321 and US 129, the Foothills Parkway features incredible Smoky Mountain views. The 16.5-mile ride is not as busy as others, but it does have quite a few hills that the more experienced riders will enjoy.
Starting at the parking lot near the “Y” in Townsend, the Tremont Road bike trail takes you along Laurel Creek Road towards Cades Cove before ending up at Tremont Road. Road bikes can take the five-mile round-trip ride, and those on mountain bikes or hybrid bikes could also continue onto the gravel road that goes past the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.
Oconaluftee River Trail
This three-mile round-trip trail features a canopy of trees, some small hills, and beautiful river views. You can start at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and ride all the way to the edge of Cherokee, NC. The trail is a fairly flat one, so it should be an easy ride for kids and adults.
On this 1.9-mile one-way trail, head from the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg. The fairly flat trail goes alongside the Little Pigeon River and features lovely water views. Along the way, you’ll also see the remnants of several historic homes. It’s rated an easy trail, so it should be good for kids as well as adults. You can also check out the Mountain Farm Museum that is made up of log structures that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They include a two-story log house, barn, pig pens, corn cribs, a blacksmith shop, and more.
Lower Deep Creek Trail
A 1.9-mile round-trip ride, the Lower Deep Creek Trail boasts some fantastic scenery, including beautiful wildflowers and flowing waterfalls.
Pigeon Forge Riverwalk Greenway
Running alongside the Little Pigeon River, the new greenway trail is four miles long and is great for all ages. Along with beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery, the trail features nice amenities, including benches, a water fountain, and a city memorial. You can find bike trail entrances at Patriot Park, Butler Street at Ashley Avenue, and Jake Thomas Road.
Biking Safety Tips & Tricks
• Always follow the rules of the road and check signs at the beginning of trails.
• Be considerate of other riders; some trails are single track.
• Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your ride.
• Dress appropriately, wearing closed-toe shoes and shorts or pants that won’t catch in the wheels.
• Know your skill level and consider this when choosing a trail to bike.
• Protect your skin and eyes on rides with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, if needed.
• Due to heavy traffic and winding landscapes, road biking can be dangerous; only experienced riders should ride the roads.
• Tennessee state law requires that all children 16 years old and under wear a bike helmet.
• Ride a bike that is properly fitted to your size, and always check the tires and brakes before setting off.
Along with lots of great bike trails, you may want to check out the many great hiking trails in Pigeon Forge. Want more outdoor fun? Try horseback riding, picnicking, kayaking and floating, or fishing. There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the great outdoors and the beautiful scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains! Need a place to stay after your day on a Pigeon Forge bike trail? Check out our Pigeon Forge cabins that offer a range of amenities, including cozy couches, spacious living rooms, big-screen TV, fully equipped kitchens, game rooms, mountain views, and more. They’ll offer the perfect place to rest and relax after an active day biking in Pigeon Forge!