Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Biking in Great Smoky National Park

campSpring summer and fall are great times for biking in Tennessee, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to bring your bicycle. Not far from ourSmoky Mountains Bed and Breakfast you will find Cades Cove Loop Road, an eleven mile long, one way road that is closed to vehicles Wednesday and Saturday mornings from mid-May through September. Keeps an eye out for wildlife during these early morning rides: look for woodchucks, wild turkeys, raccoon, white-tailed deer and black bear. It is estimated that there are over 1,500 black bear in this national park, one of the few places in the eastern part of the country where they can live undisturbed in their native habitat. Please remember to observe animals from a safe distance, and do not approach them.

Both cyclists and walkers who venture out on this road will find several 19th century home sites; there are more than 70 historic structures in the park preserved from the early European settlers who lived in the area before it became a national park. Unfortunately, the villages built by the Cherokee who lived here before being forced out in the 1830s have not survived.

At our Smokey Mountain Lodge on 33 acres, you will find more opportunities for riding. We offer complementary bikes to ride on property. Bikes can also be rented for the Cades Cove area. Greenbrier and Tremont roads in Tennessee, and Lake View Drive, and Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina are great places to explore by bike. Unfinished portions of the Tennessee Foothills Parkway are also open to cyclists. Mountain biking is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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