Bikeways of the Scenic South
Cyclists in Southeast Tennessee now have a new and growing network of bike routes to explore: Bikeways of the Scenic South. The network of carefully crafted road cycling routes is available at ScenicBikeways.com, and the routes include downloadable maps, turn-by-turn cue sheets, notable points of interest, conveniences, and descriptive narratives of what to expect along the routes.
Bikeways of the Scenic South is a project of the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association (SETTA), part of the Southeast Tennessee Development District. SETTA teamed local cycling advocates with county officials to determine the best routes through the scenic landscape and small towns of Southeast Tennessee.
“The narratives don’t just describe the roads, scenery and landmarks, but also talk about where to stop for a drink and a snack and where to eat after the ride,” says Shannon Burke of Velo View Bike Tours, who developed the routes and ScenicBikeways.com website.
Routes currently cover Sequatchie Valley (Marion, Sequatchie and Bledsoe counties) and Bradley, Polk, McMinn and Monroe counties (collectively referred to as “Three Rivers Way” in reference to the Ocoee, Hiwassee and Tellico rivers). The goal of the project is to eventually map bike routes throughout the entire region, including northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama.
“While our region has some of the most scenic cycling roads anywhere in the country, finding those low-traffic backroads has not always been easy,” says Jim Johnson, founder of BikeTours.com and an early proponent of the regional scenic bikeways concept. “Bikeways of the Scenic South will help both visitors and residents discover these beautiful backroads. Additionally, bicycle tourism is sustainable: It doesn’t cause the damage that many kinds of mass tourism bring.”
For more information about Bikeways of the Scenic South, go to ScenicBikeways.com.