Bicyclists in Cades Cove pause along the road. Behind them mountains rise up from a foggy valley.

Jim Bennett photo.


Where to Bike in the Smokies

Bicycles can travel on most roads within the park. However, due to steep terrain, narrow road surfaces, and heavy automobile traffic, many park roads are not well suited for safe and enjoyable bicycle riding.

Cades Cove Loop Road is an exception. The 11-mile one-way road is a popular bicycling area. It provides bicyclists with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and touring 19th-century homesites. Cades Cove access is motor vehicle-free all day on Wednesdays from May to September each year (exact 2024 dates to be announced) to provide opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists to experience Cades Cove without motor vehicles. During summer and fall, bicycles may be rented at the campground store (located near Cades Cove Campground). For more information call (865) 448-9034.

There are no mountain biking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Gatlinburg Trail, the Oconaluftee River Trail, and the lower Deep Creek Trail are the only park trails on which bicycles are allowed. Bicycles are prohibited on all other park trails.

Other areas suitable for bicyclists include the roads in the Greenbrier and Tremont areas in Tennessee, and the Cataloochee Valley and Lakeview Drive in North Carolina. Download a park map to locate these areas.


Safety is always a major concern where cars and bicycles must share the road. The states of North Carolina and Tennessee require that children age 16 and under wear a helmet. We strongly recommend that all riders wear helmets, use rear view mirrors, and ride properly-fitted and well-maintained bicycles. Please obey all traffic regulations.


Mountain Biking Nearby

Mountain biking trails are open on national forest and recreation lands outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For information on mountain biking in these areas, please visit the following pages:

Chattahoochee National Forest
Cherokee National Forest
Nantahala National Forest
Pisgah National Forest
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

The Tsali Recreation Area in Nantahala National Forest (listed above) is a popular mountain biking area.

Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.

Last updated: November 10, 2023

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