About Bike Tennessee

Bike Tennessee is a statewide road cycling initiative featuring professionally curated road cycling routes that showcase the small towns, natural landscapes and hidden gems that can only be found along Tennessee’s backroads. Administered by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Bike Tennessee aims to inspire visitors to experience Tennessee’s scenic beauty and rich heritage on two wheels.

Bike Tennessee’s collection of road cycling routes have been crafted in collaboration with a professional cycling guide and developer, Shannon Burke of Velo View Bike Tours in Chattanooga. The routes feature mostly rural, low-traffic cycling experiences in some of Tennessee’s most scenic and historic landscapes including multiple state parks.

Ride with GPS Logo

Bike Tennessee is designed for seasoned road cyclists and offers diverse ride options and landscapes – all mapped using the Ride With GPS app. In addition to the maps, ride descriptions are included with each route, offering insight into the character of the ride, points of interest, and potential modifications to shorten or lengthen the distance.

Whether you're seeking a leisurely ride or an adrenaline-fueled expedition, there's something for everyone to discover on the Bike Tennessee trail.


In Tennessee, a bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle. Tennessee traffic laws require bicyclists to:

  • Ride on the right-hand side of the road with the same direction as traffic

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
Use hand signals to communicate intended movements

  • Use hand signals to communicate intended movements
  • Equip their bicycles with a front white light visible from 500 feet and
either a red reflector or a lamp emitting a red light which shall be visible
from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500') to the rear

Learn more about Tennessee Bicycle Laws

Cyclist on his bicycle

Rules of the Road

Pavement Quality

Our search for scenic low-traffic roads almost always leads us to country lanes off the beaten path. While we love these little roads, they generally are less maintained than the roads used by more vehicles. Rough road surface is a trade-off we'll always take to avoid traffic and find the best scenery, but the potential for a bumpier adventure should be considered when preparing to ride. All of the roads are paved, but to avoid feeling the vibrations in the rougher sections, we highly recommend against narrow tires and high air pressure. We typically rode 32mm tires with roughly 65 psi on our scouting trips.


While we've made a concerted effort to avoid roads with high traffic, the amount of traffic you experience on these routes will still be greatly affected by the time of day and the day of the week that you ride. It has been our experience that riding mid-morning on a weekday – after everyone has gone to work – generally has the least amount of traffic. On the weekends, the earlier you start, the less traffic you'll have.


When riding rural roads, you may occasionally encounter a loose dog who takes an interest in you. While that interest may seem aggressive, not all dogs are out to get you. They may just be protective of their home turf, or they may just be curious as to who you are and what you're up to. Some of them just want to run alongside you for the simple excitement of it. When faced with a loose dog, start with a calm voice and reassure the dog that you're just passing by (e.g. "good dog"). If the dog continues to approach in an aggressive manner, change your tone to a firm, defensive command ("NO!"). If you're still concerned about the dog's aggressive behavior, spray him with your water bottle. We do not recommend coming to a full stop when encountering dogs, nor do we recommend trying to outrun them unless you have a big head start and a favorable grade, preferably downhill. The idea is to pass by slowly and calmly. A fearful sprint will trigger the dog's instincts to chase you down.

We hope to expand Bike Tennessee to include gravel routes and mountain bike trails in the near future. In the meantime, there are several sources for this information.

Gravel Routes:

Mountain Bike Trails: | |